By Dennis Agbo
Abakaliki- Mother and elder brother to Ebonyi state Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Dave Umahi have reportedly been abducted, last Thursday, by unknown gunmen at Uburu in Ohozara local government area of the state.
Though neither the state PDP chairman, no any of his close aides was ready to divulge the names of the kidnapped mother and brother, a close source suspected that the real target of kidnap was Dave Umahi himself but that the kidnappers could not do that because of the level of security around the influential party boss.
When contacted by Vanguard, yesterday, the South east Zonal Publicity secretary of the PDP, Ali Odefa,Â said the state party chairman is not in the mood to speak on any issue including the kidnap. Odefa also failed to divulge the particulars like names or ages of the kidnapped woman and Man.
The Umahi family had only last weekend thrown a party forÂ the elder brother to the PDP chairman, Colonel Obi Umahi where a former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim, had extolled the virtue of the colonel who came third overall graduate of course 17 in the Nigeria Defence College. It was not ascertained yesterday if Colonel Umahi is one of the abducted persons.
A sourceÂ who is close to the family saidÂ the kidnappers are yet to contact the family but the Ebonyi state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Chris Anyanwu confirmed the incident noting however that no official compliant has been received from the people involved.
Anyanwu claimed that the police has swung into action to apprehend the kidnappers and assured that they would put in place measures to guarantee that the captives were released without harm.
A chronology of recent kidnap incidents in Ebonyi state indicate not less than ten victims, mostly involving high profile politicians in the state. Some of the cases include: Son of the state Accountant General, an Italian working with a construction company, handling the new state secretariat in Abakaliki.
Others include a former Commissioner for Rural Development in the state, the wife of a renowned broadcaster working with the state-owned radio station, Ebonyi Broadcasting Service, the son of a staff of the state-owned newspapers, The Nigerian Patriot, among others.
Though, government sources have consistently denied that ransoms were paid for the release of the victims of the kidnap cases, informed sources told newsmen that such ransoms were actually paid but were kept secret to avoid encouraging other jobless youths in the state to join the inglorious trade.