It was gathered that the heavily armed gunmen had stormed the cleric’s residence and sent the duo to the great beyond.
Reacting to the ugly incident in a statement issued on Saturday, the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 Governorship election, Hon Terhemen Tarzoor described the incident as sad and unfortunate.
It was with great shock and disbelief that I received the news of the horrendous and gruesome murder of two able bodied young men, Martins Jande and Gregory Orakaa Mtswenem, who were slain by yet to be identified assassins on the night of Friday, 23rd September 2016 at the private residence of Very Rev. Fr. John Terence Ikponko, Chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Makurdi and Parish Priest of St. Theresa’s Parish, High Level, Makurdi, Benue State.
The butchering of these promising young men who were taking refuge at a home provided for them by their benefactor, Fr. Ikponko after they had escaped death by the whiskers during the fulani attacks on the Mbagwen community in Guma Local Government sometime in 2012 is not only barbaric but must be condemned in its entirety.
This equally brings to question the success of the Amnesty Programme of the present administration in the state even as threat to lives and properties of citizens and criminal activities have still persisted unabated, the murder of the duo also viewed as a consequence of the failure of the programme.
While criminality needs to be condemned in its totality, it is my desire that governments at all levels must ensure the protection of unarmed members of society as the security and welfare of the citizens remains the primary responsibility and objective of government all over the world.
It is also my desire that the various security agencies present in the state will do all within their reach to bring the perpetrators of such heinous crime to book and punish them accordingly so that it will serve as a deterrent to others who may wish to indulge in such dastardly acts in the future.
As their burial take place today, I fervently pray for the peaceful repose of the souls of Martins and Gregory, as I equally ask God to console the families they have left behind and give them the fortitude to bear these irreplaceable losses.
May their souls rest in the bosom of the Lord, their Creator. Amen.
Rt. Hon. [Prince] Terhemen Tarzoor, PhD