By Amos Aar
THE Benue State Government on Saturday in Makurdi, the state capital, commissioned Benue division of Al-Tershak Global Security Ltd established by Alhaji Aliyu Tershaku, who had in the past been arrested over alleged links with Boko Haram.
Alhaji Tershaku was also an ex-commander of the Benue State Livestock Guards established by the Samuel Ortom administration to operationalise the anti-open grazing law in the state. He was later removed following popular condemnation over his alleged connection with the Boko Haram.
Performing the ceremony, the state deputy governor, Sam Ode, represented by his Chief Protocol Officer, Hon. Gabriel Igoche, tasked Alhaji Tershaku to profile his men in order to rid the security organisation of criminal elements.
“Profile your men very well so that the Judas can be checked out of them and that will give us a very sound security outfit and peace in the land,” Ode said.
In his remark, Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 4, Mr R. M. Haladu, represented by Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the zone, Mr D. A. Kaavanger, said although the police was ready to work with Al-Tershak Global Security Ltd, they would screen officers of the outfit critically to ensure that there were no criminal elements amongst them before they would be allowed to work with the police.
Tor Lobi 1, HRH Moses Anagende, represented by the Mue Ter Ihyarev, HRH Simon Ajoh, disclosed that Al-Tershak Global Security Ltd would have been launched in Benue State long before now but the administration of the immediate past Governor Samuel Ortom, did not support it until Governor Hyacinth Alia took over and “created the enabling environment for the security company to be launched”.
Chief Ajoh declined our request for an interview to explain why the Ortom-led government refused to support the establishment of the private security company in the state.
Dedicating officers of the Al-Tershak Global Security Ltd to God, Patron of the organisation in Benue Zone C, Bishop Pinot Ogbaji, prayed to God so that the outfit would be used for the purpose it was created for.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Director, Al-Tershak Global Security Ltd, Alhaji Tershaku, said his security organisation was meant to complement efforts of the conventional security to protect people on their farms and to help return people displaced as a result of herders-farmers crisis to their ancestral homes.
Tershaku, a Tiv man who hails from Nzorov council ward in Guma local government area of Benue State, said the Al-Tershak Global Security Ltd which covers Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states has a Fulani man as its commander and officers drawn from Tiv, Agatu, Fulani, Igede, Jukun, Alago, Mada, Koro, Eggon, Kanuri and other tribes.
National Record observed during the inauguration that the membership of the security outfit was dominated by the Fulani based on the names the Director called out and looking at the number of the officers who were physically present.
Tershaku said there were accusations against him that he was involved in criminal security operations in the past but did not state exactly what the issues were. He declined a request for an interview to unveil the issues.
Tershaku, who contested for Makurdi/Guma federal constituency seat in the 2023 general elections on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), rather highlighted his numerous efforts in the area of security across Nigeria.
He said: “Between 2006 and 2007, I was involved in a security network that terminated the activities of Kalare (a cult group in Gombe State). The outcome or the result of this remarkable achievement earned me a special recognition by the DSS and as a result, the DSS stands as guarantor to my UBA Bank account”.
He added that “during president Goodluck administration, I was involved in a security outfit that brought a relatively peaceful atmosphere in Plateau State. In this operation, I worked alongside D. I. Gyang, Permanent Secretary, Security, Plateau State. As a result of the success of this operation, I was connected to the then Chief of Defence Intelligence and now National Security Adviser to the president, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd).
“I was also involved in the operation that dismantled the activities of a cult group known as Ecomog in Borno State during the administration of Ali Modu Sheriff. The then President Jonathan formed a security committee led by DIG Gana while I served as coordinator of the committee.
“Also, on the invitation of DIG Operation (rtd), Mark Uzokumo, he involved me in security operation within the FCT headed by DCP Inalegwu, now retired AIG. The success of this operation earned me a face-to-face meeting with President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on his request.
“Another achievement in my career as a security service provider in 2013, as a result of clashes between herders and farmers in Benue State, I led a civilian JTF that jointly worked with the state security committee which included the then DIG operation as the leader, Nasarawa and Benue states governments. National Association of Miyetti Allah elders of Nasarawa and Benue states jointly formed this civilian JTF which I led and it brought relative peace in the state and beyond.
“In 2021, I also formed a security outfit named Al-Tershak Global Security company in collaboration with Nasarawa State Government and other security agencies to provide security in the state.
“These are just little and noticeable among several security services rendered, not to mention several underground operations with DSS and other security agencies in Nigeria,” Tershaku said.
However, Daily Trust had reported on April 30, 2018 that Aliyu Tershaku was arrested by the Nigerian Army for being a suspected member of a terrorist organisation, Boko Haram.