Daughter watches as gunmen abduct journalist mum in Benue, NUJ condemns act
Mrs. Yuadoo Tor-Agbidye, News Editor of the state-owned radio station, Radio Benue was early hours of Friday abducted from her house located off Abu King Shuluwa Road in Makurdi the Benue State capital by a four-man gang suspected to be kidnappers.
Mrs. Tor-Agbidye was whisked away by abductors who stormed her Ada Chenge Street abode at about 4:30 am Friday went straight into her bedroom after gaining entrance to the main door, seized her and pushed her into a waiting ash colored Suzuki Jeep and sped off to an unknown destination.
It was gathered that although the victim’s husband who is the Zonal Manager of First City Monument Bank, Acka Tor-Agbidye, was not around when the incidence occurred, her mother in-law, Mama Rhoda Tor-Agbidye, was in the house and witnessed everything.
In her own account, daughter to the victim, Miss Kashimana Tor-Agbidye, while narrating her experience said by 4.30 am, she heard her mother crying in her bed room and she quickly tried to go see what had happened but was shocked to see from the window, four unknown persons in her room with one of them wearing a mask on his face.
She said though the armed men did not see her, she quietly stepped back to her room and made contact with the police and some family members, even as she added that response by the police was delayed.
She said the suspected kidnappers gained entrance into the premises after they scaled the fence and then tied up the security guard by the gate then destroyed the burglary door leading to her daughter-in-law’s room.
A source revealed that only last Thursday, the two big security dogs in the house had died suddenly in a manner that suggested they may have been poisoned.
Also, mother-in-law of the victim, Mama Rhoda Tor-Agbidye disclosed that she got a distress call around 4:46 am from her son’s house intimating her about the invasion and she quickly contacted both security agencies and family members but that the abductors had left with her daughter-in-law before she got there.
Mama Rhoda Toragbidye said she did not suspect any body at the moment but urged the security agencies to rescue her son’s wife whom she described as a very friendly person.
The police Commissioner, Bashir Makama, who was at the house this morning with his team told newsmen explained that investigation into the matter had begun but that he suspected a clear case of abduction orchestrated by internal arrangement to extort money from the family.
Makama who disclosed that already he had spread his dragnet across the borders of the state to track down the perpetrators and urged members of the public to provide useful information that can lead to arrest of the culprits.
Meanwhile, state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, (NUJ), has described the abduction of its member, Mrs. Tor-Agbidye as barbaric and demanded for her immediate and unconditional release.
In a statement signed by the Vice Chairman, Kajo Martins, and Secretary, Emmanuel Agber, the Union further requested the security operatives to intensify their stop and search operations in order to secure the lives Benue citizens especially as the Yuletide season approaches.
Also, in a swift reaction, the state government has debunked allegations making the rounds that the Governor, Samuel Ortom had a hand in Tor-Agbidye’s kidnap.
Describing as fallacious, a report in an online publication that his boss is behind the kidnap act, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Terver Akase, said those behind the publication are known to be sponsored to run down the Ortom administration through the fabrication of documents to support their fake stories.
Akase who posited that his boss as the Chief Security Officer of the state is reputed as a security conscious leader who has devoted a great percentage of his tenure to ensuring that the people sleep with their eyes closed described the story as the height of mischief and a ridiculous desperation by merchants of falsehood.
“Our government is aware that those who sponsored thuggery, adoptions, elimination of political opponents and other crimes in the state are not comfortable with the efforts being made by his administration to end the regime of terror and have resorted to sponsoring reports of blackmail.”
“The Governor could not have motivated the kidnap of anyone when he is championing the cause of peace and security in all parts of the state as there is no basis whatsoever for such an action,” he added.