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Gunmen abduct Edo politician, demand N20m ransom

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By Nosa Akenzua, Benin

A member of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP), Mr. Ugbo Iyiriaro, has been reportedly kidnapped along Benin-Abraka road between Ugo and Ugboko community, Orhionmwon local government area of Edo state by rampaging gunmen.

It was gathered that the victim left Benin on Tuesday to attend to an issue of urgent importance but the journey was aborted midway when some gunmen swooped on him at gunpoint.

Sources said the man had been driving to his community ‘Umoghunokhua’ with the plan of returning to Benin before he was abducted.

The kidnappers had since contacted relatives of the victim, demanding N20 million as ransom.

The police public relations officer of Edo state command, SP Bello Kontongs, confirmed the incident, saying that the police were on top of the situation with a view to ensuring that the victim was released unhurt and disclosing that the police had spread their dragnet across the breadth and length of the state to ensure the safety of the victim. He, however, denied knowledge of the alleged ransom demand by the kidnappers.

With this kidnap, the Edo cities of Benin City, Auchi and Ekpoma now have their residents on edge as they are currently being taken over by gunmen who carry out their activities almost on daily basis.

It is believed that no fewer than 22 persons have been kidnapped on the Benin City/Ekpoma/Auchi road either at nightfall or during the day, with many of the victims subjected to the payment of ransoms to secure their release.

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