Abducted Benue Commissioner regains freedom


By Sunday Ogli, Makurdi

BENUE State Commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Mathew Abo, who was abducted at his residence in Zaki-Biam on Sunday, September 24, 2023 has regained his freedom.

His abductors, according to impeccable sources, released him in the early hours of Thursday and he has already reunited with his family.

The sources which did not state whether the N60 million or any money demanded as ransom was paid or not said the Commissioner returned in good health

Mr Abo spent 10 days in captivity before freedom came his way.

His release could be attributed to intensified security operations, spirited negotiations, as well as prayers by individuals and groups.

Staff of the Benue State Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism mounted concerted prayer sessions for the safe release of the Commissioner.

Benue State Governor, Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia who condemned the abduction also directed the security agencies to ensure the release of the Commissioner.

It could be recalled that gunmen came on four motorcycles, 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.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner has expressed gratitude to God, Benue State Governor, Rev Fr Alia, his colleagues, security agencies and others for his release from 10 days of captivity.

Mr Abo in a statement made available to newsmen in Makurdi on Thursday, appreciated all the efforts and prayers that culminated in his safe release and reunion with his family and society.

“I wish that my ordeal will lead to renewed efforts to tackle both internal and external security challenges in the state and I call for the cooperation of everyone in the task ahead.

“May I assure that I remain determined more than ever to effectively utilize the platform which Governor Alia has offered to me to serve the people of the state as a member of the Benue State Executive Council with renewed vigour.

“I particularly express appreciation to the entire staff of my ministry and its parastatals as well as others within and outside the state for the unrelenting prayers and I enjoin them to continue to pray for my success and that of the entire Alia Administration”, he said.