Gunmen Abduct Ailing 72-year-old Principal in Bayelsa


 Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

Suspected kidnappers monday abducted an ailing 72-year-old retired principal, Chief Sunday Festus, in Bayelsa State.

The old man was reportedly seized by a four-man gang in his residence at riverine Bomo clan in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state in the early hours of yesterday.
The hoodlums also injured a 13-year-old boy who was staying with septuagenarian and attempted to resist the kidnap of the pensioner.

His son, Leigh, confirmed the abduction, adding that his father, who is diabetic, was critically ill when his abductors whisked him away to an unknown destination.
“The incident occurred at about 3:26a.m.. The four-man gang of kidnappers arrived at the Foinbiri waterside at about 3:10a.m. and went straight to my father’s residence.
“They broke the door protectors and forced him out of his room into a waiting double 75 horsepower speedboat.

“My father’s abduction followed a big bang on his door. They shouted and commanded that he should follow them. Attempt to resist the assailants by Master Ikiotari Festus (my father’s 13-year-old son) left him with injuries. They hit him on the head with the butt of their guns,” he said.

Leigh stated that the “heartless kidnappers” dragged his father on the ground to the waterside, after shooting sporadically into the air to scare residents and to scuttle any resistance from the community folks.

He added that after they (abductors) succeeded in forcibly taking their victim away, they headed towards Opuama community in the area.

He claimed that the motive behind the abduction of his diabetic father might not be unconnected with plot to extort money from his elder brother, Daumiebi Festus, a lawyer and businessman.
He said his brother is also a stalwart of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, stating that his father’s abductors had yet to establish contact with the family members.
It was learnt that the abduction had thrown family members, neighbours into mourning, particularly because the victim is suffering from diabetes.

Leigh said the family was afraid that the septuagenarian might die in the kidnappers’ den if he was exposed to harsh weather and treated badly.

The Bayelsa State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Asinim Butswat, was not available for comments as his mobile phone was not reachable.