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Benue Gov. Confirms Release of Kidnapped Commissioner, Denies Ransom Payment



Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue State has confirmed the safe release of his Commissioner for Information, Culture, and Tourism, Mathew Abo, who was kidnapped on September 24.

The governor, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Sir Tersoo Kula, refuted claims of ransom payment for the commissioner’s release.

Governor Alia disclosed that no ransom or monetary exchanges were involved in securing Abo’s freedom.

Instead, the release was attributed to the relentless efforts of security operatives who acted on the governor’s directives to secure the commissioner’s release.

News About Nigeria gathered that Abo has since been reunited with his family in Sankera, Ukum Local Government Area, where he was abducted.

The governor praised the security personnel for their dedication and ordered them to ensure the safe release of the remaining captives.

“We can confirm that the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Matthew Abo, has regained freedom. He has since reunited with his family in Sankera, Ukum Local Government Area where he was abducted.

“His release was as a result of intense pressure on the criminals from the gallant security operatives who were acting on the directives of Gov. Hyacinth Alia, who had earlier given marching orders to them to ensure Abo’s release,” he said.

Despite Abo’s release, the kidnappers are still holding the former Chairman of Ukum Local Government Area, Washima Erukaa, and his cousin, who had attempted to negotiate Erukaa’s release but were also kidnapped at a different location and date.

Governor Alia reiterated his strong stance against criminal activities within the state and warned criminals to cease their activities or face the consequences.

He called on security operatives to maintain vigilance and intensify efforts to curb criminal activities in Benue State.

The commissioner had spent ten days in captivity after being abducted by gunmen on four motorcycles, who stormed his residence and ordered everyone to lie face down before taking him away to an unknown location.