The Benue State Police Command has said that it has begun a search for the kidnapped state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Matthew Abo, who was abducted on Sunday by gunmen.
The spokesperson for the state Police Command, Catherine Anene, disclosed this to PUNCH Metro over the phone on Monday.
She said that the command was doing everything possible to rescue the kidnap commissioner.
When asked about the efforts the CP was making to rescue the commissioner, Anene said, “Definitely, policemen have been on the operation since the information got to the command.”
Abo was Sunday night kidnapped by some gunmen who invaded his house at Zaki Biam, headquarters of Ukum Local Government Area of the state.
The commissioner was said to have been at home with his family members when the gunmen came on four motorcycles and found their way into his living room.
During the incident, an eyewitness explained that the kidnappers came on four motorcycles, ordered everyone in the house, including the commissioner’s wife and children, to lie face down before taking their target away to an unknown destination.
“The abductors forced the commissioner to sit behind the rider of one of the motorcycles while a gunman sandwiched him.
Meanwhile, the state Governor, Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia, said on Monday that the abductors of the commissioner had yet to establish contact with the victim’s family members.
Alia, in a statement issued by his media aide, Kula Tersoo, said that gunmen had a day before the incident, kidnapped a former chairman of the local government, Iorwashima Erukaa.
He said, “While Abo was kidnapped by gunmen in his Sankara home at about 8pm, Sunday, September 24, 2023, Mr Erukaa was also taken away by a yet-to-be-identified gunmen on Saturday, September 23, 2023.
“The kidnappers, who took the duo to undisclosed locations, have made contacts with the family of Erukaa but have yet to make contacts with Abo’s family.”
Tersoo said that the governor, who described the act as barbaric, had detailed security agencies to immediately commence operations to ensure the safe release of the duo.
“He (governor) has called on the people of the state to remain calm, as his administration will do everything to make the state safe for all,” the statement added.
The Sankera axis, which comprises of three local government areas; Logo, Katsina-Ala and Ukum, is the major flashpoint of criminal activities such as kidnapping and killing in the past few years.
Earlier, Tersoo confirmed the abduction of the commissioner.
The CPS said, “Yes he was kidnapped. Unfortunately, he was kidnapped in his country home in Ukum LGA, around 8pm on Sunday, September 24, 2023.
“He was home with his family, children and his people when the armed men came in. They forced him on a bike.
“We received the unfortunate development and His Excellency, Governor Hyacinth Alia, has already directed and detailed the security operatives to ensure his safe release from the kidnappers’ den.”