By Dayo Johnson
AKURE—NO fewer than 10 gun-wielding militants have invaded the country home of the Ondo State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Chief Tola Wewe and kidnapped her 80-year-old mother, Madam Pege Esther Wewe and her 12-year-old grand daughter, Rachael Lawrence at Sabome in Ese Odo council area of the state.
Also, the office of the council chairman, Kennedy Perete was said to have been bombed by suspected arsonist who invaded it late in the night.
An unconfirmed report says two of the kidnappers have been apprehended by security operatives in the state who are said to be close in on the suspects.
Police authorities in the state have condemned the development, describing it as “barbaric”. The State Police PRO, Adeniran Aremu said the police is “making concerted efforts at ensuring the arrest of the criminals and release of the captives.”
Ondo govt condemns kidnapping
Reacting to the development, the state government through the Information Commissioner, Ranti Akerele said “it is the height of inhuman action and depth of human wickedness to have kidnapped a 80-year old woman from the comfort of her home.
The governments of Ondo State condemn the action and we are leaving no stone unturned to secure the release of the woman who incidentally is the mother of a high ranking state official
Vanguard learnt that the militants said to have been hired from neighbouring states in the Niger Delta invaded the residence of the mother of the Commissioner in a commando like brandishing sophisticate weapons.
Kidnappers demand N10m
It was gathered that the kidnappers are in close contact with the Commissioner who they allegedly asking for N10million ransom. They reportedly came at about 6pm in two speed boats to Sabome, the country home of the commissioner where they picked up their victims without any resistance.
Vanguard gathered that on arrival they started shooting sporadically to scare away people in the area after which they went straight for the 80-year-old mother of the Commissioner and her grand daughter. The ugly development in the riverine area of the state is said to be connected to the power tussle within leaders of the ruling Labour Party, LP, in the riverine area of the state ahead of the party’s primaries.
Some leaders of the party have been having a running battle with the interim council chairman, Kennedy Perete over the administration of the council.
Protest have been sponsored against him by few of the disgruntled leaders who are complaining about non settlement by the chairman but majority of the leaders have passed a vote of confidence on him asking the state government not to accede to the call by the few leaders to remove Perete. The state governor Dr Olusegun Mimiko had recently met with the leaders of the area on the need to allow peace reign in council.
The Police Command vowed to make “whoever is connected with this unwholesome act to face the wrath of the law
Police Image Maker Aremu said in a statement that the Commissioner of Police Mogaji Nasarawa “is assuring members of the public that the police are on top of the situation and law abiding citizens of the state are assured of adequate security of lives and property.
Meanwhile, the combine teams of security operatives have continue to comb the creeks to smoke out the culprits and bring them to book
The state government said that “ The moment we learnt about it, government began to take necessary steps but until the woman is eventually released we cannot judge our intervention as fruitful yet. But we are working in conjunction with security agencies in order not to jeopardize the safety of the captives.
“I want to say however that Ondo State is not an haven of criminality although we are a Niger Delta state, such things would not be allowed to thrive here. We want to tell the miscreants behind this occurrence that such enterprise will not find any place here as government is ready to protect all law-abiding citizens and put the weight of the law on offenders.