Abduction: Ado stakeholders rejoice over release of Ogbu

Ekpe Ogbu

By Egbe Attah

Stakeholders from Ado Local Government of Benue State have expressed joy over the release of the recently kidnapped Benue State Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development, Chief Ekpe Ogbu by his abductors.

Speaking to The Voice on Friday, the Chief Press Secretary to the State Deputy Governor, Ogaba Ede, said the release of Chief Ogbu, who was abducted along with his aides on Adankari-Utonkon road was the greatest Christmas gift to the people of Ado, who are the kith and kin of the commissioner.

“We thank God that the Honourable Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development has been let off the hook by his captors unhurt.

“We appreciate the state government, the security agents and indeed his family and friends who in various ways contributed to his freedom.

“I would personally appeal that there should be more presence of security men on that road to safeguard lives and property of the citizens.

“And youths from the area should find profitable jobs doing instead of living a life of crime because whoever that has been carrying out this heinous crime in the area, is doing it in collaboration with the indigenous people, especially the youths,”‘ he said.

On his part, the Third-Class Chief for Igumale Utonkon, His Royal Highness Dr Julius Iguve, expressed appreciation to God for the release of one of his illustrious subject by kidnappers.

His stressed that his release has brought joy to the Igumale -Utonkon kingdom where the commissioner hails from, while pleading that more security men be drafted to the area to checkmate incessant abduction and arm robbery on that road.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign Council in the local government for the 2023 general elections, commended security agencies for securing the release of the commissioner and his three aides along the Adankari-Utonkon road.

Head of the campaign council,  Alex Ogaba, who gave the commendation in a statement by the Director of Media and Publicity of the council, Attah Ede, and accessed by The Voce on Friday, equally lauded the state Governor, Samuel Ortom for his prompt intervention in ensuring  unconditional release of Chief Ogbu and his aides.

He particularly acknowledged the effort of the Chairman of Ado Local Government Council, Chief James Oche, who he said was on ground with the security agencies to facilitate the process of releasing the abductees and urged him to sustain the tempo.

He called on the governor to direct relevant security forces to immediately confront attackers threatening lives in Adankari  which is now a flash point for criminality in Otukpo Local Government Area of the state, describing the recent spate of attacks around the axis as unacceptable.

Ogaba, however, frowned at the high level of criminality being perpetrated in the country, saying it must be addressed holistically by security agencies, in collaboration with the traditional and community leaders through the structures of community policing and state security outfits being established by various states in the country.

He charged people to embrace useful ventures that will help them earn meaningful living, rather than engaging in the act of kidnapping and hostage taking that could permanently destroy their future and the lives of their loved ones.

He also called for vigilance among the residents and timely dissemination of intelligence to security agencies for pragmatic action to prevent such attacks.

Ogaba, who condemned in its entirety the kidnapping of the commissioner and  his aides, however, said that, it could have been disastrous for PDP family in Ado, if Chief Ogbu did not regain freedom two days after he was kidnapped, considering the strategic roles he is going to play in the political activities of PDP in the local government.

On its part, the APC House of Representatives Campaign Council for Ado-Okpokwu -Ogbadibo Federal Constituency,  has congratulated Chief Ogbu on his successful release after from captivity.

“We also wish to thank the good people of Ado and other well-wishers and loved ones for their steadfastness, support and prayers throughout this ordeal.

“The sacrifice we will continue to make is to reiterate the importance of good governance as a panacea to national security which is the bed rock of the  economic blueprint of Chief Philip Agbese and his campaign council.

“We cannot but express joy and relief that the Honorable Commissioner and others who were captured by the hoodlums are now free, unhurt and reunited with their respective families.

“Finally, we thank God for overcoming the plans and antics of the enemy,” says a statement by Lawrence Oduh, Director,  Media/Publicity of the campaign council.

All others, who spoke separately, including, the National President, Agila Development Association, Peter Otokpa, Chief Otse Otokpa,  Onmeka Okpave, expressed happiness on the release of the abductees while calling for an end to criminality in the area.

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