Abduction of Benue State Commissioner Matthew Abo Raises Security Concerns in Nigeria
Matthew Abo, the Commissioner for Information, Culture, and Tourism of Benue State, was kidnapped on Sunday night, sending shockwaves across the region. The abduction took place at Abo’s residence in Zaki-Biam, a significant administrative hub of the Ukum Local Government Area in the state. The incident occurred between 8 pm and 10 pm, as reported by multiple eyewitnesses.
According to these accounts, the perpetrators, whose identities are currently unknown, launched their attack on the Commissioner’s home. They arrived on four motorcycles, forcefully entered Abo’s home, and fired shots indiscriminately. The identity of the assailants, their motives, and the current whereabouts of the Commissioner remain unclear at this time.
Government Confirmation and Response
Sir Tersoo Kula, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Hyacinth Alia, confirmed the incident on Monday. Expressing regret over the kidnapping, Kula stated, “Unfortunately, that is the news. Commissioner for Information, Culture & Tourism, Mr. Matthew Abo from Ukum LGA was kidnapped.” The Governor has reportedly directed and detailed security operatives to ensure the Commissioner’s safe release from the kidnappers’ den.
Abo is one of the 17 Commissioners inaugurated as members of the Benue State Executive Council on August 29, 2023. His abduction has generated significant concern and raised questions about the security situation in the region. A former media aide to ex-Governor Samuel Ortom, Tahav Agerzua, who hails from the Commissioner’s hometown, described the incident in detail, highlighting the gunmen’s modus operandi and the terror they inflicted on the Commissioner’s family.
Incident Under Investigation
As of now, the investigation into the abduction is ongoing, and further details are awaited. It has been reported that the matter has been reported to the police. However, there is no official confirmation of the kidnap incident yet from the Benue State Police Command. The state police spokeswoman, SP Catherine Anene, stated she is waiting for more information from the DPO of the Zaki-Biam division.
The abduction of Abo has raised serious security concerns in the region, already strained by years of disputes between nomadic herders and pastoral farmers. The incident has prompted calls for heightened security measures and a more effective response from the government and law enforcement agencies. The state governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, condemned the act as barbaric, condemnable, and unacceptable, assuring that his administration will do everything to make the state safe for all.
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