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Kanene Okonjo

Crack police team arrives Delta as palace chiefs hold marathon talks

From PAUL OSUYI, Asaba

For the first time since last Sunday’s kidnap of the 82-year-old Prof. Kamene Okonjo, mother of Coordinating Minister of Economy and Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the council of chiefs yesterday held a marathon meeting at the palace of the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku, Delta State. A crack team of detectives arrived in Asaba last night en route Ogwashi-Uku to assist policemen on ground.

Although the agenda of the talks which lasted over seven hours was not made public, a palace source informed that the titled chiefs deliberated “extensively on the manner Mama was whisked away by her abductors.” The kidnapped Sociology professor is the Queen of Obi (Prof.) Chukwuka Okonjo. The source said that the chiefs frowned seriously at the invasion of the palace by the hoodlums, describing it as a desecration of the traditional institution, noting that the wrath of the gods would be visited on the daredevil kidnappers at the appropriate time.

The meeting was said to have been presided over by the Iyase of the kingdom, Chief Collins Afuwa, who avoided talking to the Press at the end of the meeting. He told journalists who sought his views on the travails of the kingdom, that: “We will call you when we need you.” It was gathered that the conferment of a traditional title, the Odoziani of Ogwashi-Uku which was earlier scheduled to hold yesterday was postponed as a result of the Queen Mother’s abduction.

Meanwhile, people were yesterday still working at the palace located in the serene part of the town fixing the interlocking tiles which they had started before the octogenarian professor of sociology was seized by the gunmen numbering 10 last Sunday. She was said to have come down from the one-storey palace building with adjoining bungalow to serve the workers soft drinks when the hoodlums who had been lurking around swooped on her and bundled her into their waiting Volkswagen Golf car.

The kidnap received widespread condemnation but residents of Ogwashi-Uku seemed to have moved on just three days after the incident as socio-economic activities were in full swing when Daily Sun visited. “The frank reality here is that we have moved on. People must go about their daily activities even if there is fear as a result of the presence of security operatives. What we are doing is to restrict our movements particularly at nights,” a resident who simply identified as Emeka stated.

Residents said that kidnapping was not in the polytechnic town, adding, however, that Prof. Okonjo’s abduction was high profile. “My friend was kidnapped in this Ogwashi-Uku and he paid N1 million ransom before he breathed the air of freedom. The kidnappers live among us in this community because of the way they execute their evil plans. They accosted my friend at the entrance gate to his house after lurking around for some time.

When they swooped on him, his wife ran inside and they took him away in his small jeep. The ransom he paid was N1 million and the money was raised from friends who donated bits and pieces to complete the total,” a resident volunteered. But expressing sympathy with the royal family, a resident who identified himself as Prince Godwin Chukwuemeka Elue said that the abduction of “Mama is not fair, such a thing was supposed not to happen because of her age, she is too old for that kind of experience.”

Sources said that the age-long chieftaincy tussle over the rulership of the ancient Ogwashi-Uku dated back to 1882 when the sitting monarch passed on after 12 years on the throne. Ascension to the throne, according to community sources, was by primogeniture but due to the fact that the late king’s heir apparent was a minor, it paved the way for regent to be on the throne temporarily. His uncle, the father’s immediate younger brother took over as regent and when the heir came of age in 1890, he demanded for his heritage. As at then, he was said to have married and blessed with a daughter. However, he died, paving the way for his uncle to remain on the throne.

Community sources alleged that his uncle took advantage of the demise of the heir to state that the lineage of the former had automatically been obliterated. The crisis lingered on till 2007 when a court gave judgment in favour of the Okonjos which led to the coronation of Obi Chukwuka Okonjo as the direct descendant of the daughter of the heir who died before he could ascend the throne. “Even though, the court gave that verdict, judgment, the community is still polarized. There are some that are loyal to the Obi while others are just indifferent about the unfolding drama.

All this, I believe is playing out now, that is why you don’t see people coming around to the palace,” a resident noted. Meanwhile, the state Commissioner of Police, Ikechukwu Aduba has insisted that police were working round the clock to rescue the octogenarian queen. He reiterated that his men were on red alert and urged the people to remain calm and cooperate with security agencies. Meanwhile, the state police command yesterday got reinforcement from the Force Headquarters in Abuja as manhunt for the Queen Mother’s abductors intensifies.

She is spending the fourth day with the hoodlums. The situation has kept the police and other security agencies on their toes since last Sunday. Police Commissioner Aduba, who confirmed the arrival of the detectives, said the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, deployed the team to complement what officers of the state command were already doing to rescue the woman.

Aduba, however, did not give further details on the deployment of the special detectives but expressed confidence that with the reinforcement, the hoodlums would soon be smoked-out of their hide-out. “The IGP is concerned and worried about what is happening and he has sent the special squad from Abuja to assist us. We have special squad across the federation but the person involved is of global significance and the IGP wants to get the results as fast as possible, that is all,” he told Daily Sun on phone.

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  1. Bernard Akpan December 13, 2012 at 1:48 am

    Guys nt only security agents. We covet prayrs. Mama wil soon be back.

  2. Toks December 13, 2012 at 2:35 am

    Is this response from the police,army,ss,nia applicable to all Nigerians’ kidnapped? i don’t think so !.

    • Njinde OKONJI December 13, 2012 at 7:06 am

      My brother NA WAO for this country .All human life is equal before God.There is a lot of inequality in this land

    • Daniel December 13, 2012 at 7:28 pm

      My friend, Why not pray for the aged woman to regain her freedom than diverting people’s attention?

      Is it not but natural that her case will be slightly different?

  3. Emma December 13, 2012 at 3:01 am

    If d old woman arrive safely & d kidnappers nap,they should b put 2 death without deley by a court of law as d law of d land demand,those evil men deserve 2 die without deley bcos they dont deserve 2 leave with people.i wish her safe returd.

  4. Eazyboyy December 13, 2012 at 5:15 am

    Wait o! Police has denied that mama’s abductors did not make call to demand 4 $1billion. Does it mean that these ppl has not made any call to the family? Why are they hiding it? Na waa 4 our 9ja police o! GBAM!


  5. J J December 13, 2012 at 5:18 am

    If God punish those kidnappers as they say then what happens to Ngozi ?

  6. IFY December 13, 2012 at 6:01 am

    Very Clean with Full Options Blackberry 9800 Torch1 from RIM ,Canada @ a cheap price Per unit and for bulk buyer price goes down. 0-8-0-9-8-9-9-6-9-0-3

  7. Pwaveno Bamaiyi December 13, 2012 at 6:42 am

    May mama return back hale and hearty. The dare devil robbers will soon with with divine judgement. What did mama do to deserve this torture and treatment? Is it a sin to be the mother of a successful woman? I hear these satanic criminals are demanding for the minister to resign also in addition to paying a ransom! Our Father in heaven, please deliver Prof Kamene Okonjo from the hands of her kidnappers in Jesus name. Amen.

  8. ManofGod December 13, 2012 at 6:44 am

    Whatever goes up must also come down, please kidnapper try Jonathan mother, and also to the useless army robbers they should go after minister and the useless politician that is embezzling our money. Not to be worry ordinary business young man on the street.

  9. Which Way Nigeria December 13, 2012 at 6:50 am

    Now this is beyond juju. Where are their gods? It is only GOD that can rescue us, other than that nothing else can protect and rescue mankind.

  10. Eaves dropper December 13, 2012 at 8:02 am

    We are in trouble in this country.There are two statements here that smear pepper on my face.What do they mean by prof Okonjo abduction was high profile?What do they mean by the person involved is of global significant?Does this mean that if a poor man is kidnapped,that should be the end of the poor man and that security men would not be deployed to rescue the poor man?Does prof Okonjo has 2 heads or 4 nostrils or 3 legs that make her to be special?What do those chiefs in the palace mean by saying the wrath of the gods will visit the kidnappers?Where were these gods when the kidnappers came in to take this woman away?This is a great lesson for the traditionalist who depend on their dead gods for protection.No wonder why there were no policemen to secure the palace because they thought the dead gods would be able to protect them.Hummmm!! KINGS, TRADITION an their man made GODS.

  11. ojiofor igbo December 13, 2012 at 8:07 am

    if you love your mother give they the money ok

  12. john mike December 13, 2012 at 8:12 am

    I don,t know why our niaja people are neglecting the man of god prophet tb joshua of the scoan at lagos . The okonjo iweala family. should go there and seek the face of god , there mother shall be released if the man of god pray for them over their kidnapped mother in jesus name amen !

  13. oyewale December 13, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    My friend, you are saying rubbish. Let them pay out of their loot. Use the case of those expertriates kidnapped in the north as a good case study. They dont mind killing her if they discover that they are under police net. If you want your mother alive, better dialogue with them. That serves you people right.

    when we preach security and recommend executive protection, they nomarly turn it down.

    Now out of security and crime, which of it is expensive??? Meeting, arrival of police team etc, MEDICINE AFETR DEATH..

    Listing to your security advisers. We see beyond your stinking wealth

  14. Uwakwe Chijioke December 13, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    The kidnappers of Okonjo Iwealal Mother is boyond what the ordinary eye can see. Oil marketers is involvled in this matter! Those oil marketers their companies names are listed among those owing billions of Naira oil money to Fedral Govnment knew where the Kidnappers of Okonjo Iweala Mother is hidding. Police is challenged to do more because the kidnapers is not ordinary.

  15. nnadi bonaventure December 13, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    This is the handiwork of those who want to hold Nigeria back but they will not succeed IJN

  16. james Onanefe Ibori @ Prison-UK December 13, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    This is what happens when the gap between the rich & poor is just so high on account of un-employment and decayed infrastructures, since the ex-militant are threatening to drag GEJ to court on expansion of amnesty for more unarmed militants, perhaps the expansion should be ex-kidnappers amnesty.

  17. Aki December 13, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    I’m sorry Madam professor. But this is to tell u how bad the economy u claim to be coordinating is. MAY God intervene or else we are doomed

  18. virtuouswoman December 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    May God touch the heart of the kidnappers to release Mama in peace. She does not deserve this evil lreatment. May God deliver Nigeria from powers of darkness in Jesus Name. Amen.

  19. saidu December 13, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    My ppl all dis can hppn 2 ani bodi, pls lets pray 4 d abductors 2 temper justice wit mercy on mama queen

  20. ogbonna ume December 13, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    may god help us

  21. RINGO December 13, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    This semingly rot of intellectual laxity in our approach 2 security issues is shameful 4 a so called giant of Africa. The use of High Frequency Resonance gadget 2 intercept their calls and thence pin-point their location, should be utilised. Not this camaraderie expositions of hundreds of gun thotling policemen…..with little intelligence acumen.

  22. Noneto December 13, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    What goes around comes around!

  23. evans December 13, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Saidu we will only ask them to please leave the old woman because she did nothing to them, not temper justice with mercy. Were is the justice here ???

  24. samuel john December 13, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    why will youths engage in such act. even though that 9ja economy is not funny, but that is not enough reason for people to abduct such an old woman only because her daughter is significant in Nigeria and the World in general. I condemn such act in the worst possible terms.

  25. Double-J December 13, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Those who kidnapped the old woman were high profile people that wanted to hurt the minister of finance. God is watching.

  26. mr one nigeria December 13, 2012 at 5:52 pm


  27. Commodor December 13, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Samuel i wish every youth will understand things as u do, we’ll have a gun-free street in naija. God pls free our youths from evil actions.

  28. Wizzy December 13, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Ma God help nigeria in general and we hope mama returns safely. Bt that doesnt make her any different from all other nigerians. All this is happening bcos theres no balance between the rich and the poor

  29. Ezenwosu Francis Ifeanyichukwu December 13, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    May God help Nigeria…….ask n it shall be done……..prayer is d key here

  30. Ecoman Obama December 13, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Which way Nigeria. Why don’t the IG send the same special squad to fish out the Boko Harams that don’t even hide? Why should the government wait for crime to take place, and after go to fight it? Is Okonjo superior to the man in the street? I taya o!

  31. Ernie December 14, 2012 at 1:42 am

    May the spirit of God touch the heart of those who kidnapped this grand mother, to treat her fairly no matter the interest of the kidnappers, they will never be alive to enjoy the proceed of this wicked act. Grand mothers are special and sacred gift from God, i wonder the panic in the mind of this woman where she is now, Nigeria is becoming unsafe even for the elite, i wonder what they expect us the poor masses to do if the fgn can not protect the lives of the very rich.Gej should seek the services of Israel or USA to help in tracking kidnapp cases both for the poor and rich. The prime objective of any govt is safety, security of live and properties should be given utmost priority.

  32. Sabiyaki December 14, 2012 at 6:31 am

    Am confused

  33. Nora Saro December 14, 2012 at 6:53 am

    @Ngozi Okonjo Iwuala: look at what you have done to your self, you have forgotten and sold out your respect and beauty to your enemies. Should i say that you are a disgrace to the entire Igbo? Yes, that’s what you are. You supported the Nation, Nigeria to fall down your people. you must pay the price

  34. Felix. December 14, 2012 at 7:31 am

    @ evans there is serious justice here 0. Just look the governor’s son that was caught at the airport with outrageous sum of our money, there are others that went through undetected, if tomorrow guys now laid hold of the ground mother since they (the chief culprit) have sorrounded themselves wit all d police which they can afford to pay through their loot, then many people wil begin to cry foul. They must pay the ramsom period.

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