From PAUL OSUYI, Asaba
Barely 24 after the kidnap of Prof. Kanene Okonjo security operatives have taken over the polytechnic town of Ogwashi-Uku in Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State. Prof. Okonjo, mother of Nigeria’s Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Prof. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was hurled into a waiting vehicle by gunmen numbering about 10 on Sunday afternoon.
The incident occurred at the palace of her husband and Obi of Ogwashi-Uku, Obi Chukwuka Okonjo who was said to be far away in Nasarawa State for a meeting. Daily Sun learnt that a detachment of soldiers from the 4th Brigade of Nigerian Army in Benin was deployed to beef up the security. Brig. Gen. Ubi Umahi led the detachment of soldiers.
The state Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, who visited the palace yesterday, assured residents of Ogwashi-Uku that government was on top of the situation. Dr. Uduaghan who warned against rumour mongering in connection with the abduction, urged the people to remain calm and come up with useful information that could assist security operatives in tracking down the hoodlums.
The kidnap might have prompted a closed-door meeting between Governor Uduaghan and traditional rulers in the state yesterday in Asaba. Speaking with journalists at the end of the meeting, the 1st Vice Chairman of the Delta State Traditional Rulers’ Council and the Obi of Owa Kingdom, Dr. Emmanuel Efeizomor condemned the action, describing the invasion of the palace by the hoodlums as sacrilegious.
He urged the kidnappers to release the victim On his part, the state Commissioner of Police, Ikechukwu Aduba said his command was positive in its action to rescue the octogenarian Queen Mother unhurt. Aduba, who did not confirm the arrest of more suspects as was being speculated, said there was “no cover up and we are on course in our investigation.”