By Samuel Oyadongha, Yenagoa
The kidnappers of Chief Inengite Nitabai, cousin to President Goodluck Jonathan have reportedly rejected the N30m offered by his family for his release.
Chief Nitabai, a former lecturer at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt was abducted penultimate Sunday at his Otuoke country home in Ogbia local government area of Bayelsa State by ten armed men.
The kidnapped chief is the traditional head of the compound from which the President hails from.
He was also said to have played a major role in the training of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan during his school days as an undergraduate and post graduate student.
Nitabai, it was also learnt has been acting like a father to the President since Jonathan’s real biological father died, it was further learnt.
The alleged rejection of the family offer is coming on heels of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide warning to the embattled Nitabai family that no ransom should be paid to the kidnappers.
The abductors, it would be recalled, had contacted the victim’s family four days after he was whisked away demanding a whooping sum of N500m as ransom to set him free.
A source source close to the Nitabai family told Vanguard that the troubled family instead offered to pay his abductors N30m which they rejected.
“They (kidnappers) rejected the N30m offer which they described as laughable coming from a family linked to the President,” the source said.
Also a security source who pleaded anonymity confirmed the development saying, “we are aware that the family is negotiating with the kidnappers and that they are demanding N500m which the family described as outrageous. They instead offered to part with N30 which the kidnappers were said to have rejected.”
Contacted, the state police public relations officer, Mr. Alex Akhigbe, DSP said he was not aware of the demand.
He however said its operatives deployed in the creeks are making progress in their search for the kidnapped chief.
Meanwhile, the Ijaw Youth Council IYC has warned the family of Chief Nitabai not to pay any ransom to the kidnappers.
The IYC described the action of the kidnappers as crime which the council would not condone.
It said the three man committee it set up to work with security agencies to fish out the kidnappers of Chief Inengite Nitabai are making tremendous progress to secure his release.
Spokesman of the IYC, Eric Omare who disclosed this to newsmen shortly after the inaugural meeting of the council at the Ijaw House in Yenagoa said the identity of the three man committee working with the security agents would not be disclosed for security reasons as serious progress has been made to free the septuagenarian.
Omare added that the committee has established contacts with his captors assuring that in no distance time he would be released.
“In consonance with the position of the IYC we have advised the relevant persons not to offer any ransom in order to effect the release of Mr President uncle because if we offer ransom we are encouraging more kidnapping.
“IYC position is that criminality must be erased from Ijawland, so we have told them not to offer any ransom, though he has not been released but we are very sure in the next few days or hours we would effect his release,” he said.