Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue has officially stated that no ransom was paid for the safe release of his Commissioner for Information, Culture, and Tourism, Mathew Abo. This announcement was made in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Tersoo Kula, and made available in Makurdi.
Governor Alia emphasized that there were no monetary exchanges or ransom involved in securing the commissioner’s freedom. He confirmed that Matthew Abo has been reunited with his family in Sankera, Ukum Local Government Area, where he was initially abducted.
The successful release of Mr. Abo was a direct result of the relentless efforts of gallant security operatives, who were acting on the directives of Governor Hyacinth Alia. The governor had given clear instructions to ensure the safe return of Mr. Abo, and the security operatives executed their duties with utmost professionalism.
It was also revealed in the statement that the kidnappers are still holding the former Chairman of Ukum LGA, Washima Erukaa, and his cousin, who were abducted while attempting to negotiate the release of Mr. Erukaa. The former chairman was kidnapped at a different location and on a different date.
Governor Alia, while welcoming back the commissioner, delivered a stern warning to criminals, stating that their activities will not be tolerated in any form within the state. He commended the security operatives for their efforts in securing the safe release of Mr. Abo and urged them to continue their relentless efforts to ensure the release of the remaining captives.
The governor further charged the security operatives to be unwavering in their pursuit of criminals and to ensure that they have no room to operate within the state. He emphasized the importance of maintaining a strong and effective security presence to safeguard the peace and well-being of the people.
Mr. Abo, who spent 10 days in captivity after being kidnapped on September 24, can now finally breathe a sigh of relief. Gunmen had arrived on four motorcycles at approximately 8:00 p.m., forcing everyone in the house, including the commissioner’s wife and children, to lie face down. They then took him away on one of the motorcycles to an unknown location.