From Scholastica Hir, Makurdi

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State has condemned the armed attack on Mr Terwase Orbunde and members of his family by suspected herdsmen in Makurdi.

The PDP stated this in a statement signed by the State Publicity Secretary, Chief Bemgba Iortyom, and made available to newsmen in Makurdi on Saturday.

Pastor Orbunde, who served as the Chief of Staff to Governor Samuel Ortom from 2015 to 2022 was reportedly attacked by the assailants in the evening hours of Friday, April 12, 2024, at the Welfare Quarters Extension area of Makurdi where he and his wife, Mrs. Abigail Orbunde, went to inspect work on their farm.

The suspected herdsmen said to be about five in number and armed with automatic weapons reportedly shot the former Chief of Staff in the arm before abducting Mrs. Orbunde and their maid, Ms. Patience Ogute, to an unknown destination.

Orbunde is said to have been rushed to an undisclosed hospital for treatment, and reports indicate that the abductors this morning spoke with him by phone demanding the sum of N100 million as ransom for Mrs. Orbunde and Ms. Ogute, which they threatened that if not paid, will result in the death of the victims.

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“PDP condemns this dastardly act in the strongest possible terms lamenting that it further highlights the worsening state of insecurity in the state, as it is now tragically obvious that no one is safe anywhere in Benue, including in Makurdi the state capital.”

The party called on Governor Hyacinth Alia to deploy the security vote at his disposal and the right level of political will to tackle the menace of insecurity in the state which is arrow-headed by herdsmen and bandits.

“The governor should provide desperately needed logistical support to security agencies in the state to strengthen their hand towards enforcing the ban on open grazing being flagrantly violated by armed herdsmen and also curb the activities of bandits,” the party said.

The party prayed for the safe return of Mrs. Abigail Orbunde and the maid, Ms. Patience Ogute, while reiterating the call on Governor Alia to “spare no effort towards securing their freedom in hale and sound condition.”