Mother of Bayelsa State Commissioner for Lands and Survey, Mr Furoebi Akene, has been kidnapped by unknown gunmen.
The incident, the latest in the series of high profile kidnappings in the predominantly riverine state, occurred 14 days after the abduction of the mother‑in‑law of the Bayelsa State Speaker in the creeks of Southern Ijaw council area.
This is said to have caused panic among political office holders in the state, many of whom have resorted to relocating their parents to Yenagoa, the state capital, from the hinterland.
It was learnt that the victim, identified as Madam Patimi Akene, was seized about midnight, Saturday, and whisked away by six armed men, who stormed her country home through the waterfront at the riverside town of Fonibiri in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state.
The victim was said to be returning from a night vigil when she was seized by the gunmen who have since contacted her son, demanding his resignation from the State Executive Council as condition for her release.
Speaking on the development, Akene said his mother was seized by the gunmen without firing a shot, adding that they would have been in the dark but for her grand-daughter staying with her, who witnessed the incident.
He said: “My mother was in company of one of her grand-daughters when the armed men arrived at about midnight and took her away through the creeks towards the direction of the ocean.”
According to him, shouts of the mother for help was cut short by the gunmen with a threat to kill her and her grand daughter.
“Preliminary investigations from the movement of the gunmen showed that they knew her and had been stalking her. They decided to take her quietly to avoid alarm,” Akene said
He also confirmed that the armed men contacted him Sunday evening, demanding his resignation from the cabinet of Governor Seriake Dickson as commissioner.
His words: “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. I think what they are demanding is for me to resign my appointment.
“I think the people interested in my job as commissioner in the state are the ones behind the abduction of my mother.”
Contacted on the development, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Alex Akhigbe, confirmed the incident, saying they have mobilised policemen to comb the waterways and creeks of the state.
“The terrain is very difficult but we are working hard with a view to identifying the location of the victim and rescue her,” he said.