By Emma Amaize & Samuel Oyadongha
EKU—SUSPECTED kidnappers, yesterday, at Eku, Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State, abducted Mrs. Marian Onoyume, wife of Vanguard correspondent in Rivers State, Mr. Jimitota Onoyume.
Also, gunmen in a dawn attack in the coastal settlement of Ekpekiri in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, yesterday, reportedly kidnapped a renowned geologist, Chief Betrand Douglas.
Mrs. Onoyume, a teacher, was driving out of her residence between 8.30am and 9.00am with her two children in a Nissan Quest bus, when four gunmen, who were apparently loitering around the area, seized her.
The gunmen reportedly threatened and chased her two daughters out of the vehicle before whisking her away. The children, aged nine and seven, were being taken to school.
A source said the kidnappers fled, with her blindfolded, through Salubi area of Eku.
Police spokesperson in the state, Mr. Charles Muka, told Vanguard when contacted, that the police were investigating the incident.
Mr. Onoyume said the kidnappers later called him on phone with a line belonging to his daughter, but did not discuss anything with him.
He pleaded with security agents in the state to trace the kidnappers and ensure the release of his wife.
In a text message forwarded to top security officials, the troubled journalist said: “Good morning. I am Jimitota Onoyume, the Rivers State correspondent of Vanguard newspaper.
“I got a call that my wife, Mrs. Marian Onoyume, was kidnapped minutes ago at our residence in Eku, Ethiope East Local Government Area, while she was about driving out.
“The kidnappers were four men and armed. They drove towards Salubi area. Kindly help please. The vehicle in a Nissan Quest, chassis number, 4N2DN11W4RD829149, engine number, VQ992501A and registration number, 988 Benin.”
NUJ Chairman reacts
Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, in the state, Mr. Norbert Chiazor, told Vanguard: “Onoyume contacted me about the kidnap of his wife. I contacted the Commissioner of Police and he told me that his men were already working on the matter.
“I pray that they release her soon, we are journalists. We do not have money to give to any kidnapper, and we are only managing ourselves.”
The kidnapped geologist in his sixties, informed sources told Vanguard, owned Sart Nigeria Limited, an oil field laboratory that specialises in pause behaviour and reservoirs management studies in the Niger Delta.
It was also learnt that the victim had been elected to be conferred with a chieftaincy title of Ojoko in Nembe Kingdom.
The armed gunmen, it was gathered, stormed the community through the waters and headed straight to the home of the victim.
Douglas, a Port Harcourt-based businessman, had reportedly traveled to Nembe for the burial rites of one of his brothers, when he was abducted.
Sources from the area told Vanguard that there was an exchange of gunfire between his security details and the armed men, but it could not be ascertained if anybody was harmed.
State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Fidelis Odunna, confirmed the incident. He said men of the anti-kidnapping squad had been deployed to the area.