Gunmen intercepted a Benue Links passenger vehicle en route from Onitsha, Anambra State, to Makurdi, abducting eleven passengers, including an employee of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).
This incident occurred along the Otukpo – Enugu expressway, specifically on the Olanyega/Ogbodo road in Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue State at approximately 2:30 pm on Sunday, September 17, 2023. Out of the eleven victims, four managed to escape, leaving the remaining eleven in captivity.
The NTA staff member, identified as Mr. Thomas Tikyaa, served as an accountant and had recently been transferred from the Makurdi Zonal Network Office to Abia State. He was en route to Benue to visit his family when the abduction took place.
A formal complaint, composed by Zonal Director Pam Dung Nyam, was submitted to the Commissioner of Police, Benue State Command, urgently appealing for intervention to secure the release of the abducted individuals.
Nyam stated, “I wish to formally report the kidnapping of a Staff of NTA, who was recently redeployed from NTA Network Centre, Makurdi, to NTA, Abia State. The ugly incident occurred around 10:00 pm yesterday, 17 September 2023, between Ogbokolo and Otukpa, while he was on his way to Makurdi to visit his family aboard a Benue Links Bus.”
He emphasized that the NTA family would greatly appreciate it if the victim could be rescued and safely reunited with his family.
An anonymous NTA staff member revealed to the press that the kidnappers had contacted Tikyaa’s family, initially demanding N50 million as ransom, which was subsequently reduced to N10 million.
SP Sewuese Anene, the spokesperson for the state Police Command, confirmed the abduction and stated that an ongoing investigation aims to identify and apprehend the culprits, without specifying the exact number of victims in the vehicle.