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Security operatives converge to rescue kidnapped Benue commissioner

Efforts are currently being intensified to quickly rescue a commissioner in Benue State who was kidnapped recently by unknown gunmen.


It was gathered that as part of efforts, troops of Operation Whirl Stroke have also joined in the search of the abducted commissioner.

The victim, Hon Mathew Abo who is the Benue State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, was abducted between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. in Zaki Bịam early this week.

According to our source, his abductors arrived on four motorcycles, attacked the Commissioner’s residence in Zaki-Biam, the administrative headquarters of Ukum Local Government, forcefully entered his house and fired shots indiscriminately.

However, a source in the operation Saturday, disclosed that troops were in collaboration with heads of other sister security agencies.

The source who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “Officers and men of OPWS and other security agencies have been charged to work assiduously towards ensuring that they rescue the kidnapped commissioner from the hands of his abductors.

The source added, “Heads of other security agencies in concert with the Force Commander, OPWS, Major General Sunday Igbinowanhia have vowed that they would not rest on their oars until the commissioner regains his freedom.”

The military officer explained that the OPWS and indeed the military do not negotiate with terrorists and bandits.

He said, “Our men are already combing the surrounding area and forests and in no distant future, you will hear good news.

“We are doing everything in conjunction with other security agencies in the Joint Operations Area to rescue the Hon Commissioner.

“Details of our efforts cannot be divulged for obvious reasons.”

Meanwhile, the commissioner’s abductors are demanding 60 million naira as ransom, according to a family source who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The family source said the abductors made the demand through a phone call to a member of the family, adding that the kidnappers had resorted to torturing the commissioner to press home their demand.

Our source further revealed that when the abductors called, they ensured that their phone was on speaker so the family could hear the commissioner cry for help.

Relatedly, the Benue state police command spokesperson, SP Catherine Anene confirmed that the search operation was a joint one.

“It is a joint operation in search of the abducted commissioner which involved the military, we are all together,” Anene said.

In another development, the Ondo State Police Command says it has rescued eight out of 25 people who were kidnapped in the state on Friday evening.

The Police made this known on Saturday, barely 20 hours after the twenty-five members of the Christ Apostolic Church, Oke Igan, Akure, Ondo State were kidnapped by some hoodlums suspected to be gunmen.

According to reports, the victims who were said to be choristers of the church travelling to Ifon for a burial ceremony, were attacked and kidnapped on the Benin-Akure Expressway, around the Ifon area in Ose Local Government Area of the state.

The hoodlums reportedly waylaid them and dragged them to an unknown destination in the bush.

Speaking on the development, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs Funmilayo Odunlami, confirmed that eight of the victims had been rescued while efforts were ongoing to rescue the remaining victims.

“Good news!, eight victims rescued, effort is on to rescue others unhurt”, she said on a WhatsApp platform.

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