There was outrage yesterday in Bayelsa State, following the abduction of Madam Ebifeghe Dikoro, the 105-year-old mother of Chief Wilberforce Igiri, the running mate to All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva.
Madam Dikoro was reportedly abducted from her home at Foropa, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, in circumstances believed to be politically-motivated.
The APC and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have been in a political battle to win the December 5 governorship election.
Ahead of the poll, there has been an increase in crimes, especially the kidnapping of aged people, including traditional rulers.
Madam Dikoro’s abductors, said to be gunmen, reportedly stormed Foropa at 1 am on two speedboats when the old woman was asleep.
Foropa is on the fringe of the Atlantic Ocean.
The hoodlums were said to have shot sporadically into the air to scare the centenarian’s neighbours before breaking into her apartment.
The abductors carried the centenarian into their speedboat and fled to an unknown place.
The Sylva/Igiri Campaign Organisation (SICO), the campaign team of Sylva and Igiri, yesterday condemned the abduction at a media briefing.
SICO’s Director of Media and Publicity, Chief Nathan Egba, urged the PDP and its governorship candidate, Governor Seriake Dickson, to reduce the political tension in the state and lead by example.
Egba said Dickson seemed to be preaching violence and insulting APC leaders at his public events.
The SICO’s spokesman noted that the increase in kidnapping, sea piracy and other criminal acts had overwhelmed the governor and made nonsense of his touted achievements on security.
He said: “This is only the latest in a rash of kidnappings, sea piracy that have apparently overwhelmed security agencies in the state. Last year, the uncle and guardian of our governorship candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva, also died in the hands of kidnappers.
“Yet, Governor Dickson keeps shouting about peace and security everywhere. It is also bad that even his Political Adviser, Fynman Wilson, was abducted from his country home at Sagbama and a ransom was paid before his release…”
The Chairman of Dickson’s Campaign Media Team, Mr. Esueme Kikile, also condemned the old woman’s abduction. But he urged the APC to look inward for the abductors.
Police Commissioner Nasiru Oki confirmed the incident. The police chief said efforts were being made to rescue the woman.
He said: “The woman was abducted from her home near the Atlantic Ocean. We have set machinery in motion to rescue her. But there is no contact with the kidnappers yet.”
He said APC’s plan to indict the governor and the PDP were baseless, adding that the government had raised concerns about security breaches in the state since the APC and its candidate started their electoral campaigns.