By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa—TWENTY-FOUR hours after her abduction, the whereabouts of Madam Betinah Benson, mother of Speaker of Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Mr. Kombowei Benson, remain unknown.
The 78-year-old woman was, on Monday, whisked away from her country home at Korokrosei in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area at 12.30am by gunmen.
A family source who spoke to Vanguard, yesterday, said the gunmen were yet to establish contact with them just as he expressed concern over her state of health.
Meanwhile, Bayelsa State Government, yesterday, condemned the abduction of the mother of the Speaker, warning all persons of criminal tendencies to stay clear of the state in their interest.
It was gathered from sources, that the septuagenarian went home for the yuletide hale and hearty but noted with concern that given her age, the trauma of being held incommunicado could impact negatively on her health.
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, in a statement, reiterated the government’s zero tolerance for crime and all forms of criminality, adding that machineries had been set in motion to arrest the perpetrators of the crime.
He said: “We received the news of the kidnap of the mother of the Speaker with rude shock and have, therefore, taken prompt action to arrest the perpetrators of the criminal act.
“While condemning the action of the kidnappers, we sound a clear note of warning to all persons with criminal tendencies to keep a far distance from the state because the law will catch up with them sooner than later.”
Though it could not be ascertained if the kidnap of the Speaker’s mother was for monetary reason, observers of the unfolding events in Korokorosei, the Speaker’s hometown have insisted, however, that the abduction might not be unconnected with the latter’s alleged involvement in the tenure elongation of the Community Development Committee executive headed by his younger brother.
A faction of the community had penultimate week petitioned the state chapter of Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, lamenting what it described as deliberate attempt by the Speaker to negate the rotational arrangement on ground for yearly election of chairman of the CDC by the various compounds in the community.
But the community Youth President, Mr. Ebidimie Alafa; the community Woman Leader, Mrs. Florence Agama; CDC chairman, Mr. Inikpoemi Benson and elder of Chief Igaliwari compound, Chief J. Bazighe, dismissed the claim.