By Brenda Agba
The Benue State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Hon. Matthew Abo, has regained freedom.
The Chief Press Secretary to Benue State Governor, Sir Tersoo Kula made this known today in a statement made available to newsmen.
According to the statement, no ransome or any other monetary exchanges were involved in securing his release.
“Rather, 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.
“However, the criminals still have in custody, the former Chairman Ukum LGA, Mr. Washima Erukaa and his cousin who it was learnt, discreetly went to negotiate with the kidnappers and was also kidnapped.
“His Excellency, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, who has welcomed back the Commissioner, has warned criminals operating within the state to leave for good, insisting that they will not be tolerated in any form.
“The Governor appreciates the security operatives for the feat, charging them to continue their actions in order to get the remaining captives released.
“He charged the security operatives to be ruthless on criminals, ensuring they have no room to operate in the state.”
Meanwhile, the Benue State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Hon Matthew Abo, has expressed gratitude to God, Benue State Governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, his colleagues, security agencies, the media, and others for his release from ten days of captivity.
Hon. Abo made this known in a statement signed by him and made available to newsmen shortly after his release.
According to Abo, “I appreciate all the efforts and prayers that have culminated in my safe release and reunion with my family and society.
“I wish that my ordeal will lead to renewed efforts to tackle both internal and external security challenges in the state and I call for the cooperation of everyone in the task ahead.
“May I assure that I remain determined more than ever to effectively utilize the platform which Governor Alia has offered to me to serve the people of the state as a member of the Benue State Executive Council with renewed vigor.
“I particularly express appreciation to the entire staff of my ministry and its parastatals as well as others within and outside the state for the unrelenting prayers and I enjoin them to continue to pray for my success and that of the entire Alia Administration.”
Reacting to the development, the Permanent Secretary, Benue State Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Godwin Tighil, said the commissioner was released at the early hours of today and that staff of the Ministry were rejoicing with praises to God.
Hon Abo has since reunited with his family in Sankera, Ukum Local Government Area where he was abducted.