16 June 2014

Nigeria: Gunmen Kidnap Bayelsa Commissioner's Mother, Demand Son's Resignation

The commissioner's mother was abducted from the Fonibiri Community of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the State at about 12 noon on Saturday.

The abducted mother of the commissioner, Patimi Akene, was whisked away by about 6 armed men at her home close to the waters in the community.

Her son, Mr. Akene, told journalists that the gunmen kidnapped his mother without firing a shot.

"My mother was in company of one of her granddaughters when the armed men arrived at about 12 a.m. and they were taken towards Southern direction of the ocean," he said.

He said the scream of his mother for help was cut short by the gunmen who threatened to kill her and her granddaughter.

"Preliminary investigation from the movement of the gunmen showed that they know her and have been studying her. They decided to take her quietly to avoid alarm," he told journalists.

Mr. Akene said the kidnappers contacted him on Sunday evening and demanded his resignation from the cabinet of Governor Seriake Dickson.

"Someone that I suspected to be one of the kidnappers called me and said they don't need my money. But that I should "withdraw" from the present administration as commissioner," he said. "I think what they are demanding is for me to resign my appointment."

"My brother, I think the people interested in my job as commissioner in the state are the ones behind the abduction of my mother."

When contacted, the spokesperson for the State Police Command, Alex Akhigbe, confirmed the incident. He said police officers have been mobilised to comb the waterways and creeks of the state.

"The incidence of these kidnappers is only taking place at the creeks due to the terrain of the state, but we are working assiduously to ensure that the activities of these bad boys are curbed," he said.

Saturday's kidnap and previous ones of relatives of political office holders has made many of the public officials very apprehensive.

This kidnap is coming after last week's abduction of the 90-year-old mother-in-law of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Kombowei Benson. Her whereabouts remain unknown.

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