Safe Return and Family Reunion
The Benue State Commissioner of Information, Culture, and Tourism, Mr. Mathew Abo, who was abducted from his residence in Zaki-Biam on Sunday, September 24th, 2023, has been freed after enduring ten days in captivity. His safe return has brought immense relief to his family, the community, and the entire state.
Release Amid Uncertain Ransom Status
Sources privy to the situation disclosed that Mr. Abo was released in the early hours of the day, though the precise circumstances surrounding his release remain shrouded in uncertainty. It is unclear whether the kidnappers received the reported ransom demand of N60 million or if other factors contributed to his release.
The ordeal began when a group of armed gunmen, arriving on motorcycles, brazenly stormed Mr. Abo’s residence after 8 p.m. on that fateful Sunday evening. Terrifyingly, they ordered everyone present, including the commissioner’s wife and children, to lie face down before forcibly taking him to an undisclosed location.
Community Support and Prayers
During his harrowing captivity, a multi-pronged effort to secure his release unfolded. This included a significant escalation in security operations, intricate negotiations, and a groundswell of fervent prayers from various individuals and groups. Staff members of the Benue State Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism united in organising prayer sessions, demonstrating their unwavering solidarity with the hope of Mr. Abo’s safe return.
Governor’s Condemnation and Directive
Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue State vehemently condemned the abduction and swiftly directed security agencies to prioritise the safe release of the commissioner. The entire state had been anxiously awaiting news of his fate since his abduction.
Mr. Abo had assumed his vital role as a member of the Benue State Executive Council on August 29th, 2023, with high hopes for his contributions to the state’s development in the fields of information, culture, and tourism.
His release stands as a testament to the resilience of the communities affected by the ongoing challenges posed by insecurity in the region. While the specific details of his release remain murky, the collective sigh of relief that has swept through Benue State underscores the urgent need for enhanced security measures and vigilance in the face of such threats.