Gunmen kidnap couples in Bayelsa

By Samuel Oyadongha, Yenagoa

Unknown armed gunmen struck in the early hours of Tuesday at Konga, an Akassa fishing community off the Atlantic coast of Brass in Bayelsa East senatorial district and kidnapped, Mr. and Mrs Joel Kido, parents of a maritime businessman in the area.

But Mr. Joel Kido, aged 65, father of the businessman was said to have jumped into the sea and escaped from his captors.

The gunmen, numbering about eight, it was learnt, stormed the residence of the couples at 12 midnight while they were asleep and marched them to their waiting speedboat.

While Mr. Joel managed to escape from his abductors his wife was not that lucky as she was whisked away to an unknown destination.

As at press time, the family was yet to establish contact with the gunmen.

Vanguard reliably learnt that sometime last year the father of the businessman also escaped a kidnap attempt allegedly launched by some unknown gunmen.

Though the reason for the abduction could not be ascertained, informed sources told Vanguard that it might not be unconnected with an unresolved issues between the businessman and his workers over alleged unpaid wages.

The police authorities Tuesday confirmed the abduction saying two suspects linked with the incident were now in their custody in Yenagoa.

Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Alex Akhigbe said the suspects had made useful statements assisting the police in their investigation.

He said the plans are underway to rescue the kidnapped woman and arrest the abductors.


Maritime Security News Note:
This story interests me for a number of reasons. To begin with, it’s another kidnapping – not unusual in Bayelsa State, admittedly, where kidnaps are as common as oil theft – but it’s also the fact that the kidnappers arrived and left by boat. But they’re not called ‘pirates’ this time, which is what usually happens in some Nigerian media outlets. Instead, they’re just gunmen and kidnappers, which takes me back to something I posted last month about Somali kidnappers: what do you call a pirate on dry land? A criminal.

The fact that this is also about an alleged maritime dispute is also interesting. Whether we will ever see a story about its resolution is anyone’s guess, but it’s another maritime-related kidnap, although this time of locals rather than ex-pats.


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