Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
A gang of suspected kidnappers on Saturday morning forcibly seized the octogenarian father of a member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Mr. Alfred Watson, along the waterways of Brass Local Government Area of the state.
The gunmen numbering about four reportedly seized the victim, Chief W.G. Watson Iti, on Saturday morning while he was conveying the body of his deceased wife for burial in her hometown.
THISDAY learnt that the incident happened at about 9.25am along the Okpoama-Egweama waterways of the local government area when Iti was conveying the remains of his wife from Okpoama mortuary to Egweama; the deceased’s maternal home for burial as customs demanded.
“Watson is a respected chief in Okpoama kingdom. His wife died and her body was deposited at the Okpoama mortuary. On Saturday, he was taking the body to his wife’s maternal home at Egweama, which was about seven minutes away from Okpoama when gunmen attacked them.
“The gunmen were four and they came upon then in a 75 horsepower boat. The chief was traveling with the casket bearing his wife’s body on a 115 horsepower speedboat. The armed kidnappers shot four times at them and forced them to stop”, a source who did not want his name in print said.
The source said on approaching the boat, the gunmen gave the boat driver machete cuts, stole handsets and other valuables of boat’s occupants and whisked Pa Watson away to an unknown location.
While confirming the incident, the lawmaker asked the kidnappers to release his father unconditionally and alleged that the abductors “were within”.
He vowed to pay no ransom to the abductors adding that efforts were being made to locate his father and the kidnappers.
He said: “I am asking them to release my father unconditionally because it was something done by people within. How can you kidnap an old man who was going to bury his dead wife?”
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Butswat Asinim, who also confirmed the incident, said the police were investigating the development, stated that the Police will soon unravel those behind the act.