By Peter Duru
MAKURDI – Makurdi, the Benue State capital, has been thrown into a frenzy following the kidnap of an octogenarian and leading politician in the state, Chief Simon Shango, by unknown gunmen who are demanding a N200 million ransom for his release.
Sources told Vanguard that Chief Shango who was a one-time National Publicity Secretary of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) was abducted last night near his residence in the heart of Makurdi town.
Vanguard further gathered that the elder statesman had just finished attending a political meeting at a hotel close to his abode at about 8.30 p.m and was on his way home on foot in company of his friends when his abductors waylaid them and took him way.
According to our source, â€œthey were trekking home from the hotel after a prolonged political meeting when a group of armed young men accosted them, chased his friends away and forced the old man into a waiting vehicle along the David Mark bypass Extension road.â€
His dazed companions, it was gathered, raised an alarm for help from passersby but no one volunteered any assistance hence the abductors of the one-time General Manager of Benue Printing and Publishing Company and PDP stalwart successfully made away with their catch.
It was further gathered that his companions quickly alerted his family members who immediately reported the matter to the â€˜Dâ€™ Division of the state Police Command in Makurdi.
Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Benue State Command, Mr. Samuel Jinadu (DSP), confirmed the abduction of the politician, stressing that the police had commenced investigations into the matter.
Vanguard recalls that just few days ago, gunmen also abducted a leading oil merchant in Makurdi for which a N2 million ransom was paid to secure his release just as the police also foiled the attempted abduction of the wife and daughter of the state Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment in Makurdi.