By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoaâ€”After eight days in captivity, security operatives last night rescued kidnapped 73-year-old Madam Florentina Emmanuel, mother of Senator Emmanuel Paulker, after a bloody shootout with her kidnappers.
One of the kidnappers, identified as Boss, was reportedly shot dead while another whose name was given as Kingsley Koikoi, an indigene of Azuzuama community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, was shot on the thigh.
The septuagenarian was kidnapped last week by gunmen who stormed her Opolo country home and took her away in a waiting jeep.
The kidnappers, it was learnt, had earlier demanded $30,000 which was later reduced to $20,000 when their victimâ€™s family refused to play along.
But as the waiting game lingered, the kidnappers were said to have insisted on N100 million ransom before they would release their victim.
Senator Emmanuel Paulker, representing Bayelsa Central senatorial district is a close associate of Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, and an influential member of the Green Movement, the campaign machinery that propped up Jonathan when he was governor of Bayelsa State.
It was gathered that the kidnapped septuagenarian was kept incommunicado in the swamp along Imiringi road, on the outskirts of Yenagoa, by her kidnappers who had thought they could fleece her son of some money.
Sources told Vanguard that a dummy was sold to the kidnappers that their demand was ready and that they (kidnappers) should specify where it should be delivered.
The kidnappers were said to have demanded that the ransom of N100 million be dropped at a spot on the New Gateway road, some distance away from Okolobiri.
But unknown to them, securitymen were on their trail and as they were about to collect the ransom where it was dropped, they (police) swooped on them killing one and injuring another, while others fled into the forest.
Confirming the release of the septuagenarian, the state Commissioner of Police, Elder Onuoha Udeka, said the kidnappers, numbering four, where trailed to the new Gateway road where they were to collect a ransom in cash.