The father of Charles Erukaa, a popular television presenter and on-air-personality with Channels TV, has reportedly died in the den of kidnappers in Benue State.
Charles’ father, Washima Erukaa, was also the former chairman of the Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State.
He was kidnapped on Saturday, 23 September, 2023, in Zaki Biam, headquarters of the local government, but died after over one month with his abductors. What made the death so painful was that the Erukaa family had paid ransom for his release four times to the kidnappers.
Erukaa was kidnapped on 23 September 2023, a day before his kinsman and the state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mathew Abo, was kidnapped. They were both kidnapped at Zaki Biam in Ukum LGA. But while the Commissioner, Abo, was rescued 10 days later, Erukaa was not.
After the ex-chairman was abducted, a family member identified as BenJones Erukaa was also lured to the kidnapper’s den on the pretext of negotiating with the family for payment of a ransom. He was also abducted and kept in custody with the former chairman. It was learnt that BenJones was freed on October 20, but Pa Erukaa was still kept in custody by the kidnappers for reasons best known to them.
When contacted on the news of his death Thursday morning, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Benue State, SP Catherine Anene, said she did not have the information yet. However, a member of the Erukaa family, who didn’t want to be named, said the deceased’s lifeless body was found somewhere within Zaki-Biam town, the headquarters of Ukum LGA, on Sunday.
Washima Erukaa was the father of a renowned broadcaster with Channels TV, Charles Erukaa.
The source, who debunked reports that the kidnappers may have killed the former council chairman, said that from what the family gathered, Erukaa died in his sleep. It was said that when his abductors found out that the former council boss had died, they dropped his lifeless body in a vicinity where he would easily be found.
The source said: “That’s how it ended; the kidnap saga. And I think probably that’s the kind of death that God reserved for him. So that’s how it ended. For some of us, after the third week, we lost hope, but we were still praying because we knew that there was nothing God could not do.
“We believe the conditions that he was kept in captivity were conditions that would not make for his survival. Based on what we learnt from hearsay, he slept and didn’t wake up. They (abductors) had no reason to kill him. It’s not as if they made demands that we didn’t meet up with. We paid them ransom like four times,” the source said. [TNG]