Gunmen Abduct Benue Information Commissioner, One Other

George Okoh in Makurdi

Suspected gunmen last Sunday stormed the residence of the Benue State Commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism, Matthew Abo, in Zaki-Biam and abducted him.

According to local sources, the kidnappers came on four motorcycles around 8 p.m. and ordered everyone in the house, including the commissioner’s wife and children, to lie face down and took him away to an unknown destination on one of the motorcycles.

The witnesses said the abductors compelled the commissioner at gunpoint to sit behind the rider of one of the motorcycles while a gunman sandwiched him.

The matter has been reported to the police.

Abo was sworn in as a member of the Benue State Executive Council on August 29, 2023.

He hails from Ukum Local Government Area in the state, which has been a major flashpoint of criminal activities with rampant killings and kidnappings in recent times.

Meanwhile, the state Police Command has confirmed the abduction. According to the state police spokesperson DSP Sewuese Anene, “The police have confirmed the report, and are working on the situation.”

The state Governor, Hyacinth Alia, has condemned the kidnapping of the commissioner.

A statement issued by his Press Secretary Mr. Tetapi Kula, stated that Alia has received the unfortunate news of the kidnap of Matthew Abo, the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, and former Chairman of Ukum LGA, Mr. Iorwashima Erukaa.

“While Abo was kidnapped by suspected gunmen in his Sankara home at about 8 p.m. on September 24, Erukaa was also abducted by a yet to be identified gunmen on September 23,” he stated.

He stated that the kidnappers who took the duo to yet-to-be-identified locations, have made contact with the family of Erukaa but are yet to make contact with Abo’s family.

The governor, who described the act as barbaric, condemnable, and unacceptable, has already detailed security agencies to immediately commence operations to ensure the safe release of the duo.

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