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Benue: Four killed in bid to rescue kidnap victim

Four persons were on Tuesday night killed while pursing the abductors of an entrepreneur, Mercy Gabriel, at Obu Branch in Otukpa town of Ogbadibo Local Government Area of Benue state.

The abducted victim, Mercy Gabriel, was said to have been whisked away around 9:30pm in front of her shop at the ever busy Obu Branch in Benue’s Ogbadigbo area linking Ankpa in Kogi state.

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Witnesses said the kidnapped victim who completed her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) barely a month ago owns a communication outfit in the rural town and was busy in one of her two shops when some gunmen forced her into their waiting vehicle and sped off in the direction of Ankpa road.

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It was learnt that some young men who saw what happened quickly rode on motorcycles and pursued the abductors in a bid to rescue the woman but they were knocked down by a vehicle in the process as the four of them died on the spot.

The Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) in Benue state, Aliyu Baba, told our correspondent on telephone that the four persons who died were sympathisers who witnessed the lady being taken away and decided alongside others to pursue the abductors.

Baba said, unknowingly to the deceased, there was another vehicle coming from the opposite direction with headlight which suggested it was rather a motorcycle and before they could veer off the road properly, the vehicle collided with them.

“Four of them (men) died,” the sector commander said.

When contacted, the state’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Catherine Anene, said she was yet to receive any briefing on the matter.

Meanwhile, the caretaker committee Chairman of Ogbadibo council, Prince Samuel Onuh, has expressed bitterness over the kidnap of the young business entrepreneur and the death of the four young men in a bid to rescue the victim.

In a statement made available to newsmen on Wednesday by his media aide, Sunny Inedu, the chairman expressed worry about the incident and specifically commiserated with the families of the four men who lost their lives in the process.

Onuh hailed their gallantry, for trying to be true brothers to the victim but became casualties in the process.

He further stressed the need for police and relevant security agencies in Otukpa, Benue state and neighbouring Kogi state, to rescue the kidnapped lady.

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