From FEMI FOLARANMI, Yenagoa
The mother of the embattled speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Mrs Betinah Okunwa Benson has been kidnapped. Sources said the 70-year-old woman was kidnapped at Korokorosei, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state. The Speaker, Konbowei Friday Benson had been having a running battle with a non-government organisation,
Transparency Good Governance Coalition, that wanted him prosecuted for an alleged misappropriation of Bayelsa State funds. Aside fighting a battle to retain his seat as speaker, Benson was also at loggerheads with youths and leaders of his community, who accused him of trying to impose a chairman of the Community Development Community (CDC) in person of his brother on the community. According to investigations, the gunmen who kidnapped Mrs Benson were said to have stormed the community in two speedboats at about 12.30 am yesterday morning and went straight to the residence of Mrs Benson.
They were said to have shot sporadically into the air to scare away people who might attempted to rescue the woman as she was being whisked away. At the Benson’s residence in Yenagoa, the speaker was said to have received the news of his mother’s kidnap with shock. According to family sources, the kidnappers had not made any contact with the family to make any demand. A statement from the office of the Special Adviser on Media to the speaker, Mr. Priye Kiyaramo said the incident had been reported to the police.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Fidelis Odunna who confirmed the incident said a team of plain cloth detectives and intelligence officers had been deployed to fish out the kidnappers. A security source said the State Security Service was also investigating the kidnap. Recently the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Kings Omire who paraded some kidnappers had declared that he would make Bayelsa State too hot for kidnappers and other criminal elements.