April 13, 2024

Abducted 80-year-old mother of Bayelsa SSG freed after 32 days in captivity


Nathan Tamarapreye, Yenagoa

The Police in Bayelsa on Sunday announced the rescue of Madam Betinah Benson, mother of Secretary to Bayelsa State Government (SSG) abducted on July 20 from her Ekeki residence in Yenagoa after 32 days in captivity.

Mr Echeng Echeng, Bayelsa Commissioner of Police confirmed the release at the residence of the SSG shortly after handing over the 80-year-old to family members.

He explained that the pressure from the police led to her release: “Our message to those involved in such heinous acts is that it is a crime and no matter how involved you are, you will be arrested.” Echeng said.

The 80-year-old woman was in a jubilant mood when she was handed over to her son on Sunday evening in presence of relatives and security operatives.

 It was learnt that three suspects were arrested in connection with the abduction.

Although the police were silent on whether ransom was paid to secure the release, the SSG said that a token gift of N4 million and two android phones were given to the kidnappers.

The SSG, described the payment as a token gift to the kidnappers and maintained that it was not ransom as the kidnappers had earlier demanded for N500 million.

He said that even though five members of the family have been victims of kidnapping in the state, he vowed never to pay ransom and trusted in the security agencies and God to secure the release of his mother.

“Mama is back in the House, and I want to give thanks to God and the security team in the state.

“I am so happy that my mother is back. Even if I tell people that ransom was not paid, they will not believe me.

“When they demanded N500 million, I stood my ground. Even when I say I will not pay, I gave them a token to allow Mama to come back home.” Benson said.

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