Daily Trust (Abuja)

13 December 2012

Nigeria: Okonjo Abduction - Palace Chiefs Go Spiritual

Photo: This Day
A gang of armed men has seized 83-year-old Kamene Okonjo, left, mother of Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Asaba — Prince Godwin Okechukwu Elue said since Obi is a devoted Christian, "we are not ready for sacrifice, but a solution such as church activities to offer prayers that will touch the soul of the hoodlums to release the queen in their custody."

Daily Trust gathered that a meeting of chiefs was summoned at the palace yesterday afternoon where decision was taken for the chiefs and elders of the community to work as a team to go "spiritual" for the victim to gain freedom soon.

Prayer warriors from the Mountain of Fire Ministries were on hand at the palace premises praying for God's intervention.

Chief Lawrence Okolobi, Ozuma of Ogwashi-uku, said that the closed door meeting was held to formally inform the Obi in "Aniocha Kingdom of what befalls us so that they can assist to fish out the old woman unharmed as well as pay us sympathy visit".

According to Okolobi, the abduction of Prof. Okonjo is still a dummying because the police are yet to give a clue to the whereabouts of the queen, but our concern now is to assist the security operatives with all means that will lead to the arrest of the hoodlums.

It was also learnt that the hoodlums have contacted the family via the elder son, Onyema Okonjo through the queen's house maid phone found in a hand bag with the abducted queen.

Daily Trust gathered that the hoodlums however refused to speak with him on the issue, but instead insisted to speak with the minister to strike a deal with her over the abduction of her mother.

The phone conversation between the hoodlums and the victim's son took place yesterday, a family source disclosed.

Ozuma of Ogwashi-uku said the kidnappers desecrated the kingdom as they committed sacrilege for abducting a queen in the palace.

"They said they are not desperate about money but want to speak with the minister and nobody else before they discuss the issue of money" he said.

Meanwhile, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan warned traditional rulers in the state to be at the alert over the insecurity and make their domain a safe place for all and sundry, even as he appealed to the minister to stay away from Ogwashi Uku for security reasons.

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InFocus

Nigeria Operatives in Contact with Okonjo Kidnappers

A gang of armed men has seized 83-year-old Kamene Okonjo, left, mother of Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Contact has been made with the kidnappers of Kamene Okonjo, mother of Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and the ransom demand has been lowered to approximately U.S.$1 million. Read more »