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Ritual killings/kidnappings

Pastor, son, travellers kidnapped in Lagos-bound Benue bus



Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers on Tuesday abducted a pastor, his son and five others between Kabba and Ayere, boundary communities in Kogi and Ondo states.

The victims were said to have boarded a vehicle from Makurdi, Benue State, and were going to Lagos State when they were intercepted by the hoodlums, who took them to the forest.

The distraught wife of the pastor, Mrs Hanna Orhena, who disclosed this to journalists in Makurdi on Thursday, said her husband, Pastor Steven Orhena, and their son, Tertsea, alongside five others, were abducted.

She said, “My husband and son, including five others, boarded a Benue Links vehicle going to Lagos, but they were abducted between Kabba and Ayere around 3pm on Tuesday.

“The abductors called me yesterday (Wednesday) night between 10 and 11pm and asked me to look for someone who could speak in Hausa language to interpret for me.

“When we were talking, they demanded N5m ransom, but I negotiated with them to accept N500,000; they refused. But they allowed my husband and son to speak to me.

“They also told me that they came from Zamfara State and that they had a boss in Abuja, so nothing would happen to them.”

While stating that the abductors were still holding her family members, the woman said she did not know if the families of other victims had been contacted.

Steven is said to be a pastor at the Jesus Prophetical and Apostolic Church, aka Jesus Family, North Bank, Makurdi.

Benue Links Transport Company is owned by the state government and has been a target of kidnappers in recent times.

The General Manager of the company, Mrs Ugela Monica, said there was no publicity when bandits hijacked a train recently and wondered why journalists wanted to write a news report about her company.

She said, “I am not aware of the abduction of our passengers. When it happened on a train and others in another place, you people did not make news (out of it); it is when it happens to Benue Links that you want to make news out of it.”

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