On Saturday morning, gunmen abducted Haanongon Gideon, the Caretaker Chairman of Benue State’s Ukum Local Government Area, and three others.
The chairman was claimed to have been kidnapped near Anyagba, Tongov, in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of the state around 6.30 a.m. while on his way to attend the burial of Katsina-Ala LG’s supreme monarch, the Ter Katsina-Ala, Fezaanga Wombo.
Among others kidnapped with him were his personal assistant, Mr. Ior Yuhwam, his chauffeur, and a police officer.
However, a press statement by the council secretary, Jonathan Modi, acknowledged the abduction of the caretaker chairman and three others.
The statement read in parts, “The Ukum Local Government Area Executive Council announces the kidnap of the Council Chairman, Rev. Haanongon Gideon, alongside his PA on Administration, Mr Ior Yuhwam, his driver and police officer.
“The ugly incident took place this morning, along Anyagba, Tongov, in Katsina-Ala LGA, of Benue State, around 6:30am, while on the way to attend the burial of the paramount Ruler of Katsina Ala LG, the Ter Katsina-Ala, Chief Fezaanga Wombo.”
The statement enjoined all the people of the local government to remain calm and be law-abiding, assuring them that measures are being taken to ensure the victims’ freedom.
The state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Matthew Abo, also confirmed the abduction of the chairman.
He said, “It’s true he was abducted, I cannot say much now because I am at a funeral in Katsina-Ala.”
The state Commissioner for Information, who hails from the same local government area, was also abducted by gunmen in September, 2023.
However, the state command spokesperson, SP Catherine Anene, said she was yet to be briefed.