by Akan Ido
The recent kidnap of the mother of Nigeria’s finance minister and coordinator of the economy has come as a shock to many. Many wonder the state of security in the palace, in Delta State, where the 82-year-old professor was said to have been kidnapped on Sunday afternoon.
According to monitored reports, the woman who is a medical doctor was taken away by gunmen who disguised as palace guards.
A man who is currently in police custody was said to have gained entrance into the palace and informed the housemaid that he was there to convey the professor to somewhere in the town for an undisclosed traditional engagement.
Eyewitness accounts said that as soon as the woman stepped out of the main building, heading towards the gate, the kidnappers moved in from the gate, and pushed her into a waiting car.
The gunmen were reported to have taken the workers who were fixing interlocking tiles at the gate of the palace hostage ordering them to lie face down.
“Immediately they saw our king’s wife, the Queen Mother who was coming towards the gate with her maid to serve the workers soft drinks, she was seized and thrown into a waiting Golf car while another car was parked outside.”
Another eyewitness said: “One of kidnappers, bracing all odds, went upstairs to collect the Queen Mother’s handbag. Another maid who sighted the kidnapper upstairs hid herself in the kitchen.”
Delta State police public relations officer, PPRO, Charles Muka in his reaction said, “Yes, we (police) have got the information on the kidnap and we have also got information that will lead to the arrest of the hoodlums.”
Professor Okonjo is a retired professor of sociology at the University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka.
Okonjo-Iweala’s mother is the wife of His Majesty, Professor Chukwuka Aninshi Okonjo Agbogidi, the reigning Obi of Ogwashi-Uku kingdom.
Professor Kamene Okonjo’s husband was said to be out of town when the unfortunate incident happened.