Residents rose in protest as 92-year-old paramount ruler of Tombia community the Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, HRH Christian Otobotekere, was on Thursday kidnapped by about five heavily armed men.
The kidnap triggered protest on the rising incidence of kidnapping in the state.
The traditional ruler is the father to the state’s former State Commissioner for Science and Technology and former Chief of Staff to the incumbent Governor of the state, Seriake Dickson.
Our correspondent gathered that the armed men stormed the community between 7.30am and 8 am in a Toyota Camry car and shot sporadically into the air to scare away the residents.
The gun toting youths were said to have marched to the residence of the monarch and seized him. The nonagenarian was dragged to their car and driven to the Amassoma-Tombia bridge where he was transferred to a waiting speedboat with which they escaped into the creek after setting the car ablaze.
A food vendor was hit by a stray bullet from the abductors and was receiving treatment at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, at press time
The state Police spokesman, Asinim Butswat said the marine police, the Joint Task Force (JTF) and the Anti-kidnapping unit have moved into the creeks for the rescue and possible arrest of the suspects.
Meanwhile, the members of the Yenagoa Book Club (YBC) have expressed dismay over the abduction of the monarch and called for his immediate release.
The President of the association, Ebiowei Lawal and Secretary Princewill Sede in a statement issued in Yenagoa lamented the increasing cases of kidnappings without the police making any arrest.
“To us the act of the kidnappers is not only barbaric and wicked; it is an insult to the literary community in Bayelsa state and the nation at large.
“Therefore, the YBC is calling on the Nigerian Police Force Bayelsa state command to all within its powers to ensure that Otobotekere is unconditionally released in good health without further delay.
“We also want to use this medium to urge the kidnappers to release him without speedily, because if the Niger Delta foremost poet and regent of Tombia community who is over 90 years old suffer any form of harm, his case would be one meat they cannot chew.
“We want to assure the international literary community that we will not relent in our fight to pressure concerned authorities to facilitate his release, as we will protest, continue to protest and protest until he is released healthy, alive and unconditionally.”