Benue State, Nigeria – In a relief to their families and the community, Tom Tikyaa, an NTA staff, and 12 other passengers who were abducted while traveling on a Benue Links bus have been rescued from their captors. The harrowing incident occurred on Sunday along the treacherous Otukpo – Ugbokolo road in Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue State.
The 13 victims, including the bus driver, were on their way back to Makurdi from Onitsha, Anambra State, when armed kidnappers seized control of the Benue Links bus in Okpokwu LGA. The incident sent shockwaves through the region, leaving families and authorities deeply concerned for the safety of those taken captive.
Sources close to the families of the freed victims have alleged that a total sum of N7.5 million was paid to secure their release. However, Comrade Gabriel Tachia, the Secretary-General of the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (Benue Links chapter), denied knowledge of any ransom payment, stating that all the victims regained their freedom on Wednesday night.
As of now, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for Benue Command, SP Catherine Anene, has not provided any official information regarding the rescue. The circumstances surrounding the release of the captives remain unclear, with further investigations expected to shed light on the incident.
This incident serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing security challenges faced by residents and travelers in certain areas of Nigeria, prompting renewed calls for improved safety measures and increased vigilance on the nation’s roads.