Nigeria: Family Worried Over Siasia Mother's Health

(file photo).

Yenagoa — Moses Siasia, a younger brother to ex-international and former Super Eagles coach, Samson Siasia, has explained how gunmen, in a commando style, abducted his 76-year-old mother, Mrs Beauty Ogere Siasia at her family compound in Odoni community of Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State on the early hours of last Monday.

Odoni is one of the riverine communities in Bayelsa, and the crime of kidnapping and hostage taking is very rampant in the area, just like most Niger Delta communities. Even on the popular East-West road, most especially the axis that leads from Bayelsa to Port Harcourt in Rivers State, the spat of kidnapping and robbery is alarming.

While speaking with Daily Trust on Sunday on phone, Moses said that the kidnappers whisked away their aged mother without taking along her blood pressure (BP) drugs and mobile phone to contact members of the family, expressing fear that the aged mother would be exposed to severe weather wherever they took her to.

Aside from Siasia's mother, two other women were also kidnapped in the same community on that same day, a situation that generated fear among the residents of the area. Most people have already begun to relocate from the community due to the fear of the unknown.

In an emotion-laded voice, Moses noted that the inability of their mother to remember phone numbers off-hand may have slowed down contacts from her abductors, saying that four days after the abduction, they abductors are yet to establish contact with the family.

He said: "As I'm talking with you, the abductors have not contacted us yet. We have reported the matter to the police. She was taken away without taking along her drugs. Even if they ask her for our numbers, she would not be able to help because she cannot recall mobile numbers. We are full of prayers and hoping she would be released soon."

Daily Trust on Sunday learnt that in the recent past, activities of kidnappers and robbers were very rampant between Agbere and Odoni communities of Sagbama Local Government Area and it's becoming worrisome

A resident of the community who spoke with our correspondent on the condition of anonymity disclosed that aside from Siasia's mother, two other women were also abducted, including the mother of the owner of a local mortuary services firm in the area, known as "Do NaNa."

This is not the first time Mrs Beauty Siasia's is being kidnapped. She suffered the same ugly incident in November 2015, when she was released 12 days after a reported payment of N.6million ransom.

Meanwhile, a 93-year-old husband of the victim, Mr Commander Siasia, has appealed to the Bayelsa State command of the Nigeria Police Force and other security operatives in the state to help rescue her wife from the den of the kidnappers, saying her health condition may pose a serious danger to wherever they might have taken her to.

Pa Siasia, who commended the effort of the police since the incident happened, also appealed to them to redouble operations to bring back his wife.

"My wife was taken away since Monday, and up till now I have not set my eyes on her, neither have I heard from the abductors. The police should please help to bring her back to me alive," he said.

Already, the police have deployed their marine components to Odoni waterways and some neighbouring communities in Sagbama Local Government Area of the state as part of its effort to rescue Siasia's mother.

The commissioner of police in the state, Mr Uche Anozia, told journalists after he led the command's tactical team to visit the village yesterday, that the command was doing everything possible for the victims to regain their freedom from the abductors. He disclosed that on Monday, July 15, 2019, gunmen invaded Odoni community and kidnapped the 79-year-old Mrs Siasia alongside two others, identified as Mrs Florence Douanana, 65 and a girl, Selekire Douanana, who is 17 years old.

"The police tactical team is on top of the game to rescue the victims. I am assuring the public and the relatives of the victims that no stone is left unturned. We have deployed the marine component to the waterways in the area. The command will continue to work hard to take control of the marine landscape in the state.

"You know that Bayelsa is 80 per cent water, and that means our operations are mainly focusing on waterways," he said.

While narrating how the gunmen invaded the community, Mr Siasia Taribo, a step son to Mrs Siasia, who lives opposite the compound where the incident happened, said he was sleeping when he heard some noise from Mrs Siasia's compound. When he peeped through the window, he saw armed men numbering up to five, trying to gain entry to the compound.

"I was sleeping when I heard some noise. I woke up to check if my children wanted to open the door. As I reached their room, I noticed that the noise was outside. When I peeped through the window, I saw five armed men in mama's compound. I then moved and locked all the entry doors because I knew there was danger.

"After some minutes, I heard mama's voice shouting, 'Una don come thieve us again, these thieves don come o.' After a while I didn't hear the voice again. By that time, one of them now walked towards the town; that was when I called my brother and the youth leader. We found a way to trace them, but we could not find any of them," he said.

Mr Dounana Amabetari, whose 65-year-old mother and 17-year-old sister were also abducted by the same gunmen that day, said the whole community was saddened by the incident. He urged the government to address the issue of insecurity in the state.

He said, "Where will we have money to give them when they contact us. As I am here, even to eat is a problem. We have five children in this house, and none of us is working. My mother and younger sister are in danger at the moment.

"They came, broke into the house and ransacked everywhere in search of money. If we have money they would have seen it as they entered the house.

"We are not politicians, we are not rich; I don't know why they took my mother and sister away. Even if they demand N200,000 now, where will we get such money," he said.

An elder in the community, Chief Eric Bufumoh, said they were surprised at such attack on the people, adding that it does not help them in any way.

He said, "Everybody goes to bed in order to wake up in the morning to go to their various businesses, but surprisingly, if you now find out that your neighbour is whisked away, it is sad.

"We have a surveillance team in this village, but they are not armed to confront gunmen. We don't even have a police station here that we can call when there is danger. That is why we are pleading with the government to help us boost security around the community," he said.

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