There was confusion at Kpakiama, Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State, weekend, as gunmen, suspected to be kidnappers in camouflage uniform, invaded the riverine community, abducting Mrs. Ekpongbolo Preyor, the octogenarian mother of the Deputy Majority Leader of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Kenneth Preyor (Bomadi Constituency).
Stray bullets from the gangsters, who stormed the community's waterfront in a 200 horse-power speedboat at about 11p.m., shooting sporadically to intimidate the villagers, hit a man in his 20s, Mr. Fun-Akpor Akiefa, who was at a barbing saloon at the time.
The state's Commissioner of Police, Mr. Zanna Ibrahim, who confirmed the incident, said two suspects (names withheld) aged, 32 and 36, both from Kpakiama town, have been arrested in connection with the kidnap incident.
He asserted: "At about 10p.m. on Sunday, K. O. Preyor, the Deputy Majority Leader of Delta State House of Assembly, called the Divisional Police Officer, Bomadi, saying his mother, Mrs. Preyor Okpokunu, aged 81, of Osibiri Quarters, Kpakiama Town, Bomadi Local Government Area was kidnapped by unknown men.
"They came through the water with speed boat, all dressed in army uniform and took the mother to unknown place through the water."
'I was hit by 2 bullets'
Akiefa, who was hit by a stray bullet, said: "We were watching television in a barbing saloon around 11p.m., when we heard gunshots. People started scampering for safety and I ran out of the saloon to a safer place.
"Suddenly, I felt a sensation on my arm and later on my backside. I thought it was a scratch until after some minutes, I saw blood oozing out of my arm and backside. It was then I knew that I had been shot.
"While lying on the ground, I saw them pointing their guns in my direction, shooting and retreating to the waterfront, as they made their escape."
Younger brother of the lawmaker, Mr. Naotu Preyor, told Vanguard: "I was in my house when suddenly I heard gunshots, which lasted for several minutes. It was after the gunshots had stopped and the speedboat gone that I discovered my mother had been kidnapped.
"I believe that all the while they were moving about the street was in an effort to locate the very room she was sleeping in."
Reacting to the incident, the General Overseer of Power of Faith and Truth Evangelical Ministry, Rev. Eddy Etogor, where Ma Preyor also worships, said: "She will regain her freedom on Wednesday night and the hoodlums will be arrested in a couple of months.
"This is what the Lord told me in our morning prayers."
As tension mounted over the incident yesterday, sympathisers trooped from adjoining coastal communities raining expletives on the kidnappers.
Speaking to Vanguard on the incident, the Second Vice Chairman, Delta State Council of Traditional Rulers and Pere of Akugbene-Mein Kingdom, Bomadi Local Government Area, HRM Kalanama VIII, said: "I appeal that they release the old woman unconditionally because she is old enough to be their mother and grandmother.
"They (the kidnappers) rather need prayers of such aged parents in the region and not to make them go through pains and suffering at their age."