Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Four youths reportedly lost their lives on Tuesday night while they were trailing abductors of a business woman, Mercy Gabriel, at Obu Branch in Otukpa town of Ogbadibo Local Government Area of Benue State.
Sources from the area told our correspondent that the deceased met their death after they had a head-on-collision with an oncoming vehicle while pursuing the abductors of the woman.
Gabriel was said to have been whisked away at about 9:30pm in front of her shop at the ever-busy Obu, a busy area linking Ankpa in Kogi State.
The kidnapped victim, it was learnt, just completed her National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) about a month ago and runs two communication shops in the town.
She was said to be busy in one of her two shops when some gunmen stormed the area, forced her into their waiting vehicle and sped off in the direction of Ankpa road.
Some of the young men who saw what happened were said to have quickly rode on motorcycles in hot pursuit of the adductors in a bid to rescue the woman but were hit by a vehicle that was coming in the opposite direction a development which resulted in the death of four of them on the spot.
Confirming the report, Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) in Benue State, Aliyu Baba, told our correspondent on telephone that the deceased were among those youths who saw how the woman was abducted and were trying to go after the abductors.
“Unknown to the deceased, there was another vehicle coming from the opposite direction with headlight which suggested it was rather a motorcycle and before they could veer off the road properly, the vehicle collided with them. Four of them (men) died,” the sector commander said.
However, when contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Catherine Anene, said she was yet to be briefed on the matter.
Reacting to the incidence, caretaker committee Chairman of Ogbadibo local council, Prince Samuel Onuh, described the kidnap of the young business entrepreneur and death of the four young men as very sad.
Onuh in a statement made available to newsmen on Wednesday by his media aide, Sunny Inedu, expressed bitterness at the entire incident and specifically condoled with the families of the four men who lost their lives in the process.
He also called on the police and relevant security agencies in Otukpa, Benue State and neighbouring Kogi State, to swing into investigation with a view to rescuing of the kidnap victim.