By Ushang Ewa
Information reaching CrossRiverWatch newsroom indicates that FG, a crippled petty trader who was abducted February 2, 2017 in the remote Ohong village in Obudu LGA, has been released after a week following the payment of NGN1million ransom to the dare devil kidnappers.
Jude Akwagiobe Agaba, popularly referred to as ‘FG’ was released Friday afternoon in Vandeikya, Benue State some 22 kilometers North East of Obudu main town after a ransom of NGN1million was paid to agents of the kidnappers at Utuhu village in Obanliku local government area which is less than 12 kilometers from his Ohong community base in Obudu local government area where he was abducted.
A family source told CrossRiverWatch that the kidnappers had warned against Police involvement. However, Police officers still accompanied them to the scene where the money was dropped and witnessed the whole scenario while FG was released a while later at Vandeikya.
“Do we have a Police force?” queried a family source who spoke on condition of anonymity. “The money was collected in broad day light” the source said with FG released later in the afternoon.
“He is currently recuperating as he was beaten mercilessly” the source added. CrossRiverWatch also gathered that FG told family members that the people where communicating with FG in both English and Bette languages.
Bette is a sub-dialectal semi-bantu language spoken in parts of Obudu and Obanliku with unconfirmed information suggesting it is also spoken in Gabon.
It will be recalled that CrossRiverWatch had reported that FG, a palm wine seller for decades was abducted in a vehicle which looked like it had gone to the auto shop with damaged body parts with his pregnant wife beaten and kicked in the stomach.
Two days later, the kidnappers demanded for a NGN5million ransom which eventually was brought down to NGN1million.
He becomes the fifth person to be abducted in Obudu since 2015 with business man, Sunday Anagwe first kidnapped in March 2015 and released after payment of NGN1.5million ransom following an initial demand of NGN10million.
This was followed by the kidnap of the Chief Librarian of the Federal College of Education Obudu, Mr Godwin Angiating in June 2015.
The abduction of Pastor Walter Ibe, a lecturer in the department of Computer Science in the same institution in May 2016 followed suit and in October 2016, staff of the institution protested following the kidnap of one Mrs. Anyocha, a principal lecturer of Igbo language.
About three days after the protest, the Chairman of the Obudu Urban Development Authority, Canice Atsu kidnapped four days earlier was released.