The kidnapped Paramount ruler of Okordia clan in Yenagoa Local Government Area off Bayelsa, Richard Seiba, was set free by his captors on Tuesday after nine days in captivity.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that Mr. Seiba, who was kidnapped on Saturday from his palace, was found on Tuesday morning at Amassoma community by security operatives.
NAN further learnt that the kidnappers abandoned the traditional ruler at a river bank in Amasomma.
Community sources said that a boat driver, who found the 70-year-old monarch, after he was abandoned by his captors across the shoreline, took him to Amassoma mainland.
The monarch was subsequently driven down to the Police headquarters, Yenagoa, where he was received by the Commissioner of Police, Kingsley Omire, relations and well wishers.
Narrating his ordeal, the ruler told the newsmen that his captors flogged and molested him many times in the mangrove swamp where he was kept.
He said: “I was forcefully taken away from my home close to an unknown location close to the sea.
“They told me I must price how much I was going to pay or else they would smoke me.
“They flogged me with tree branches and even used torch to hit my head,” Seiba said.
He said he was frightened over his safety and expressed a willingness to pay N10 million to secure his freedom.
The ruler said his abductors rejected the offer and insisted he paid 150 million dollars or be killed.
Mr. Seiba said that the kidnappers told him that they were offered N50 million to eliminate him by some persons in Okordia kingdom that they refused to disclose.
The king said the kidnappers told him that they decided to drop the elimination plan but opted to get a ransom for his freedom because he was an old man.
He said as his ordeal continued, he resorted to fasting, a development that angered his abductors and they subjected him to further torture till they got tired.
It was at this juncture, he added, that they asked him to find his way back to his kingdom.
He thanked God for delivering him from the kidnappers, adding that if not for divine intervention, he would have been killed.
Receiving the ruler, Mr. Omire said that pressure from the security operatives on the trail of the kidnappers might have forced them to abandon the monarch.
According to him, God’s divine intervention also played a major role.
He said God set confusion among the kidnappers, resulting in their having no option than to abandon their victim.
He reiterated the command’s zero tolerance to criminality in the state.
Mr. Omire said that security operatives had launched a search for the suspects to ensure that they faced the law.
The commissioner commended the effort of the boatman and urged the people to always give a helping hand to people in distress.
Mr. Seiba was seized from his home at about 2.00 a.m. on Saturday, August 26.
The kidnappers later got in touch with his family demanding a ransom of N50 million.
A day after Mr. Seiba was kidnapped, the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, sent a delegation to Okordia to sympathise with the community.
Kidnapping has been on the rise in many parts of Nigeria particularly in the South.
Two weeks ago, kidnappers released the Vice Chancellor of Enugu State University of Technology after an unspecified ransom was paid.
The Vice Chancellor was kidnapped at the entrance of the institution and three policemen attached to him wounded by the gunmen.