Gunmen Abduct 85-Year-Old Bayelsa Monarch

Nigeria-militantsARMED men yesterday struck again in Bayelsa State, abducting 85-year-old paramount ruler of Gbarantoru community in Yenagoa Council, HRH Chief Benjamin Weke.

The octogenarian was abducted at his residence in the state capital in the early hours of yesterday. According to close family members, abduction of the monarch came 34 days after a notice of his planned kidnapping was made known in a warning letter sent by his abductors.

A family member, Mrs. Blessing Weke, confirmed that the gunmen had on July 1 this year sent a letter to the monarch, intimating him of their coming. Mrs. Weke said: “The gunmen were about four in number and heavily armed.

They came around 1am, and forcefully gained entrance. The wife was the first to wake up and she woke up his Highness.” “They immediately seized him and took some money meant for the traditional marriage of one of his sons scheduled to hold tomorrow (Saturday). “They also beat up the wife who escorted them through the footpath behind his residence to the waterside where they escaped in a speedboat to an unknown location.”

Confirming the incident, spokesman of the state Police Command, Asinim Butswatt, who regretted the incident, said the family could not make contact with the police until 5am.  “The marine component of the police have been alerted and are combing the creeks to find their whereabouts‎.”

Only a fortnight ago, Chiefs Blessing Wagio and Isaac Akono-Igolo from Okpoama community in Brass Council were kidnapped and a N50m ransom demanded for their release.

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