Breastfeeding Mother Released After Two Weeks in Kidnappers’ Den


Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

Mother of a nine-week-old baby, Roselyn Okokingho, who was breastfeeding at the time she was abducted in Twon-Brass, Brass local Government Area of Bayelsa, has regained her freedom.

Reports of the action of the hoodlums who had broken into the home of the victim at about 8.45p.m. on the day and whisked her away immediately, prompted outrage in the state, with several groups calling for her release.
Mr. Pius Okokingho, husband of the kidnap victim who confirmed her release yesterday, described the experience as traumatic.

He said his wife’s abductors dropped her off at a lonely area along the Brass river waterways from where she was rescued by some passers-by.
Okokingbo noted that the new baby had reunited with the lactating mother whose abduction, he said, denied the baby of breast milk.

According to him the kidnap incident had compelled the family to resort to other means, including infant food rather than the exclusive breastfeeding that the baby was used to.

Although he declined to disclose if a ransom was paid, he said that the kidnappers had established telephone contact with him and demanded a N10 million ransom.

The victim’s husband added that his offer of N100, 000 was turned down by the suspected criminals.
“I can confirm that my wife is back and I thank God that she is in good health. I am also grateful to sympathisers who came to her rescue and all those who stood by me during the traumatic two weeks,” he said.

In an apparent attempt to assure the kidnappers whom he said accused him of involving the media because he was wealthy, Okokingbo assured them that the press was only performing a public service.

“I applaud the media for the selfless advocacy for the freedom of my wife. I am sure they were under intense pressure as the kidnappers said that the incident was enjoying media spotlight, an indication that I had money. But I told them it was public service.

“The media spotlight was not my making, I did not solicit media coverage in any way. I was too confused to think straight. It was just an act of God that the sympathy of the new baby got people in the media to take up the issue as their social obligation,” he said.