By Peter Duru, Makurdi
The two National Youth Service Corps, NY members, and four others from Benue state abducted about a week ago by bandits in Zamfara state have regained their freedom.
The victims were kidnapped last week at Tsafe Local Government Area of the state when the Benue Links commercial vehicle they were traveling in to Zamfara and Sokoto states was waylaid by armed men.
The release of the six victims was made known by a statement on the social media handle of the Principal Special Assistant to the Benue state Governor on Culture and Tourism, Mr. Tahav Agerzue.
This came less than 24 hours after the Governor decried the abduction of the six assuring that his government had taken steps to secure their release.
According to the statement by Mr. Agerzue, “the collaborative efforts of the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, Benue Links management, and the families of victims secured the release of the two National Youth Service Corps members, Jennifer Awashima Iorliam and Joseph Zakaa as well as four others abducted by kidnappers in Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara State a week ago.
“Others who regained their freedom were Sedoo Kondo, an undergraduate of Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, on her way to school, Ruth Sesuur Tsokar, who was visiting a relative in Kebbi and two brothers, Muhammadu Saminu and Safiam Muhammadu who were on their way to Sokoto State, together with the corps members traveling in a Benue Links vehicle, ended up in the kidnappers den.
“Messrs Iorliam and Zakaa who had been posted to Kebbi State for the NYSC program were on their way to the orientation camp. Freedom came their way at about
6pm yesterday (Tuesday).”
Meanwhile it was gathered that the kidnappers had made an initial demand of N5million for the release of each of the victims and later brought it down to N2million but it was clear whether the state government met the demand of the abductors before their release.
Elder sister of one of the corps member, Judith Iorliam confirmed the release of her sister saying she was already on her way back home.
Also confirming the release of the six victims, the Security Adviser to the Governor, Colonel Paul Hemba (retd) said “yes they have been released and they are already on their way back to the state.”