Monday, March 10, 2014

NEWS UPDATE: Kidnappers Refuse To Release President Jonathan Despite His Visit To Otuoke

The visit by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan last weekend has failed to secure the release of his foster father by gunmen, who abducted the president’s relative for ransom.

The kidnappers may have fulfilled an earlier threat to kill the hostage if their terms were not met. This development has heightened anxiety in the community.

Bayelsa Police Command has, however, dismissed rumors of the death of Chief Nengite Nitabai, the 70 year old uncle of President Goodluck Jonathan  being held in the kidnappers’ den.

Mr Hilary Okpara, Commissioner of Police in Bayelsa, described the rumors as “wicked lies,” adding that Police are closing in on the hoodlums who abducted the septuagenarian 15 days ago.

Okpara, who failed to prove that the 70 year old was still alive, said that six suspects, including a traditional ruler believed to be the father of the leader of the kidnapping gang, was arrested in connection with the abduction.

Members of the president’s family had offered a ransom sum of N30 million which the abductors  rejected. They are demanding N500 million to release the president’s uncle, and derided the family offer as “paltry.”

The family was said to have sought the intervention of the President, who returned to Otuoke on Thursday, and left on Friday, after a brief meeting with family members.

The kidnappers had threatened to kill the hostage if the ransom was not paid.

The visit of Jonathan last weekend had raised hopes that the abducted Nitabai would be freed within days.  The president was expected to augment the N30 million to meet the N500 million sum demanded by the kidnappers.

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