The kidnappers who abducted 82-years-old Prof. Kanene Okonjo, mother of Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala at her family home in Ogwashi Uku, Delta State, may be demanding $1 billion ransom. According to elombah.com., the queen of Obi (Prof.) Chukwukla Aninshi Okonjo was kidnapped on Sunday at about 1:30 pm from the husband’s palace at Ogbe-Ofu quarters in Ogwahi-Uku by 10 gunmen who stormed the palace in two Volkswagen Gulf cars.
The unconfirmed $1 billion ransom, according to source, was relayed to the family of the queen yesterday. It is yet to be seen how the family will react to this development, but in a statement made available to elombah.com yesterday, the minister’s spokesman, Paul Nwabuikwu said: “At this point, it is difficult to say whether those behind this action are the same people who have made threats against the Coordinating Minister in the recent past or other elements with hostile motives.
No possibility can be ruled out at this point.” Meanwhile, Umu Anioma Foundation Worldwide has demanded the immediate release of the queen. In a statement made available to elombah.com and signed by Prince Charles Anyasi, the National Coordinator/Spokesman, the group said: “Once again, the image smear on Delta State has been brought to the fore with the unfortunate kidnapping of the aged mother of Nigeria’s energetic Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala from her home in Ogwashi-Uku a few hours ago.
A few months ago, it was the turn of another prominent Anioma family to sweat in search of their mother who was abducted in her farm. As the security operatives continued the search for Okonjo-Iweala’s mother, an impeccable source had disclosed to Daily Sun that the identities of the kidnappers were already known.
A source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there was no hiding place for the perpetrators as, according to him, security operatives were already on top of the situation and are trailing the suspects. “We have identified the boys and we are after them.
We have equally made contacts with their families to prevail on their children to release the victim or face the wrath of the law.” The Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba told Daily Sun on phone that the police were already combing all the bushes in the state. “We want to remain focused and we don’t want any distraction at this point in time.
While we appreciate journalists’ concern over the matter, we will appreciate their understanding of our situation and the need to remain focused until our objectives are met. We are not resting until we rescue the victim and fish out the perpetrators.”
The Deputy Force Police Public Relations Officer (DPPRO), Mr. Frank Mba said the manhunt fort the kidnappers was ongoing. He said the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar had mobilized Delta State Command with human and financial resources to fish out the kidnappers.