Gov Hyacinth Alia
Gov Hyacinth Alia of Benue state has disclosed that no money was paid as ransom in securing the release of Mr Mathew Abo, the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism who was abducted.
This was contained in a statement on Thursday signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Sir Tersoo Kula, and made available to the Pressmen in Makurdi.
The governor stated that no ransom or monetary exchanges were involved in securing his safe release.
“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 Mr. Abo’s release,” he said.
The statement further disclosed that the kidnappers were still holding the former Chairman, Ukum LGA, Mr Washima Erukaa, and his cousin who discreetly went to negotiate with them for the release of Mr Erukaa but were also kidnapped.
The former chairman was kidnapped at a different location and date.
Alia, who welcomed back the commissioner, further warned criminals operating within the state to leave for good, insisting that they would not be tolerated in any form.
The governor commended the security operatives for ensuring the safe release of the commissioner and tasked them to ensure the safe release of the remaining captives.
He charged the security operatives with being ruthless on criminals and ensuring that they have no room to operate in the state.
Mr Abo, who was kidnapped on September 24, spent 10 days in captivity before regaining his freedom.
Gunmen came on four motorcycles at about 8:00 p.m., 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.