Abducted Zoo Boss, Ehanire, Regains Freedom


Mr. Andrew Ehanire

The abducted Director of Ogba Zoo and Nature Park in Benin, Edo State, Mr. Andrew Ehanire, has regained his freedom after three weeks in captivity of his captors.

Ehanire is the brother of the Minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire.

Although details of Ehanire’s release are still sketchy, it was learnt that he returned home on Saturday.

Ehanire was kidnapped by gunmen on September 24, 2017.

The armed men had stormed the zoo premises, located on Airport Road, disguising as fun seekers.

One of them was said to have engaged Ehanire in a friendly conversation.

The kidnappers were said to have shot dead three policemen on duty, after offering them bottles of beer.

It was also learnt that the abductors had later contacted the zoo boss’ family, demanding a ransom of N350m for his release.

His kidnap and that of a popular musician, Mr. Joseph Osayomore, had raised concerns over the level of insecurity in the state.

Ehanire confirmed his release to our correspondent on the telephone.

“I am back; I am home. I am going through medical treatment now,” he said on Sunday.

Although he said he could not narrate his experience because of the checkup, he described it as “tough.”

He also stated the he could have lost his life.

Ehanire said, “It was a tough condition. I could have died if I have not been released. I was released last night (Saturday) in the middle of nowhere. It was frightful, but I am home.

Asked if a ransom was paid as a condition for his release, he said, “It (ransom) was part of the bargain. I was not there; I do not have any detail.

“I just want to say that I appreciate the role of the press. In good time, I will give some response to your questions. I am okay. I think the country can still be very good. The future is bright.”

Meanwhile, the abduction of Osayomore has entered its second week.

The ace musician had been kidnapped on October 3, 2017, in Orovie village, off Upper Ekehuan Road in the Egor Local Government Area of the state.

The kidnappers were said to have demanded N200m as ransom.

His wife, who sustained a gunshot injury in the head during the kidnap, was said to be recuperating in an undisclosed hospital.

There had been speculations on the social media that Osayomore had been released.

But the state Chairman of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria, Mr. Willy Eghe-Nova, dismissed the claims.

Eghe-Nova stated, “Osayomore is not out yet. Once he is out, it will be an open thing. There is hope.”

He also said negotiation for his release was ongoing, but said it remained a family

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