Gunmen abduct news editor of Radio Benue, Ortom denies involvement
Four unidentified suspected kidnappers in the early hours of yesterday by 4.30 a.m. invaded the house of Controller of News, Radio Benue, Mrs. Yuadoo Tor-Agbidye, ransacked her bedroom, bundled her into her ash colour Suzuki Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) and drove away to an unknown destination.
When The Guardian visited the resident of the victim located by Ada Chenge’s street, off King Shuluwa road yesterday, some of her colleagues, family members and friends were trooping in to catch grip of the incident.
It was revealed from the victim’s house that the kidnappers broke into the yard by climbing the fence, first trapped the security guard at the gate, and went to the room of their hostage by breaking the burglary proof with a cement slap.
According to reports from the victim’s house, it was disclosed that the previous day of the incident, one of the two bulldogs on guard in the house suddenly died in a situation suspected to be poisoning.
But narrating the ordeal to The Guardian, daughter to the victim, Miss Kashimana Tor-Agbidye said by 4.30 a.m., she heard her mother crying in her bedroom and on getting there to know what was happening, she saw through the window four persons with her and one of them wore mask to cover 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.
Also, in a swift reaction, the Press Secretary to governor Samuel Ortom, Zterver Akaase, has debunked allegations in an online publication that his boss was behind the kidnap act, describing it as the height of mischief and a ridiculous desperation by merchants of falsehood.
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, maintaining 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.
According to Akase, “Our government is aware that those who sponsored thuggery, abductions, 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.”
Interacting with the mother-in-law of the victim, Mama Rhoda Tor-Agbidye, who was seen calming family members, claimed to have got desperate call at 4.46 a.m. intimating her of the sad development.
Mama Rhoda Toragbidye who said she did not suspect anybody at the moment, called on the security agents to rescue her wife, noting that her wife is very friendly with everybody that comes her way.
The police commissioner, Bashir Makama who was at the house yesterday with his team told journalists that he suspected a clear case of adoption orchestrated by internal arrangement to extort money from the family.
CP Makama said already he had already made contacts 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.
The Guardian revealed that the husband to the victim, Mr. Toragbidye, a financial expert and Zonal Manager, First City Monument Bank, FCMB, had just left the family to Abuja the previous day while the incident took place the following day at dawn.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Benue State chapter, has condemned the abduction of its member as barbaric and demands for her immediate and unconditional release.
The union in a statement signed by its Vice Chairman, Kajo Martins and Secretary, Emmanuel Agber further requested the security operatives to intensify their stop and search operations in order to secure the lives of Benue citizens at this Yuletide.