Gunmen on Monday kidnapped the mother of the Speaker of Bayelsa House of Assembly, Betinah Benson, at her residence in Korokosei, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state.
The 70-year old woman was abducted at 12.30 a.m.
A statement by the Media Assistant to the Speaker, Piriye Kiyaramo, said the gunmen stormed the residence of the woman and forcefully took her away to an unknown destination.
“Information reaching the Office of the Speaker indicates that the gunmen, who came in two speed boats, shot sporadically into the air to scare away people before going away with their victim,” Mr. Kiyaramo said.
He said the incident has been reported to the police.
When contacted, the Bayelsa State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, Fidelis Odunna, confirmed the report, saying that the command had launched a manhunt for the kidnappers.
“It is confirmed that the speaker’s mother has been kidnapped.
“We learnt of the kidnapping early this morning, but we have swung into action to see what we can do to free her,” Mr. Odunna said.
He assured the public of the command’s determination to rescue the victim.
Mr. Odunna said the command had since dispatched a team of crack detectives to track down the criminals.
The victim’s son, Konbowei Benson, is the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly. He is currently enmeshed in a corruption scandal as the police seek his prosecution for fraudulently obtaining millions of Naira from the Bayelsa government for a seminar he did not attend.
Kidnapping has been on the increase in several states across Nigeria. The victims have been diverse and include political office holders, their families, as well as businessmen and women.
Many of the victim’s families pay ransom to free the captives based on the lack of confidence people have in Nigerian security agencies