How Gunmen Kidnapped Professor Kanene Okonjo, 82 Year-Old Mother of Nigeria’s Finance Minister

Posted on Monday, December 10th, 2012 at 7:06 AM

By Adeola Adeyemo

In recent months, the spate of kidnappings in Nigeria have risen to an uncomfortable level, increasing people’s fears and giving the nation a bad reputation. The kidnappers are no respecter of people’s age or social status – the young, the old, the rich, the poor have been victims of this heinous crime.

Yesterday, Professor Kanene Okonjo, mother of the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was abducted at the gate of the palace of the traditional ruler of Ogwashi-Uku, Delta State, Prof. Chukwuka Okonjo, who is her husband.

Punch reports that the 82-year-old monarch’s wife was said to have been abducted at about 1.47pm by a gang of armed men who seized her at the gate of the palace and took her away, when her husband travelled out of the town. Below is an account of how she was abducted from the palace.

The kidnappers, numbering about 10, were said to be lurking around the palace until the woman and her maid came down to offer some drinks to workers at the gate. Eyewitness said as soon as the woman came down from the main building, towards the gate, the criminals also moved in from the gate to grab and push her into a waiting Golf Volkswagen car.

A source said, “The abductors were heavily armed. They were about 10. They bailed up the men fixing the interlocking tiles and asked them to lie face down. “Immediately they saw her (the King’s wife) they bundled her into a waiting Golf car while another car was parked outside.”

It was learnt that one of them went upstairs to collect the woman’s handbag. The eyewitness said another maid, who sighted the kidnappers upstairs, hid herself in the kitchen.

But the Police command in the state has said a man, who was said to have left the palace a few minutes before the incident, had been arrested. The man was said to have informed the housemaid that he was in the palace to take the octogenarian to somewhere in the town.

The kidnappers have yet to make contact with the family of their victim.

This brazen attitude of kidnappers is getting out of hand and calls for a radical improvement in the nation’s security system. Kidnapping cases are now at an all time high and more needs to be done to bolster our security.

Our prayers are with the Okonjo family and we hope the woman is found soon and returned to her family in good health.

Photo Credit: Punch

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  • 27 Comments on “How Gunmen Kidnapped Professor Kanene Okonjo, 82 Year-Old Mother of Nigeria’s Finance Minister”

    Comments
    • giggy December 10, 2012 at 8:06 AM

      na wa ooooo

    • Glam December 10, 2012 at 8:25 AM

      This rise of kidnapping is just terrible. This is the impact of militancy. Hope she gets out unharmed.
      http://theglamfile.blogspot.com

    • Helen December 10, 2012 at 8:33 AM

      As much as i pray the old woman gets out hale and hearty, i think this should be a lesson to the government. When militants began their operations which gave birth to kidnapping in this country, the govt was very sloppy in handling them because they were not directly involved now see the end product. What a shame!

      • Africhic December 10, 2012 at 9:39 AM

        you are so right Helen

    • Amie December 10, 2012 at 8:51 AM

      For crying out loud, when will all these insecurity stop in this country? If it’s not BH and their inhumanity to humanity, it’s robbery or kidnapping?
      Different forms of cruelty. Na wa oh. I pray she gets out unharmed…

    • BUCHI£ December 10, 2012 at 9:04 AM

      It’s a Pity…………What a country!

    • Anthonia December 10, 2012 at 9:10 AM

      This is terrible.

    • Pinky lips December 10, 2012 at 9:11 AM

      This kidnapping issue is just an eye sore …….God please help.

    • Amie December 10, 2012 at 9:16 AM

      SMH! For crying out loud, when will all these insecurity STOP in this country?
      If it’s not ‘BH’ and their inhumanity to humanity, it’s robbery or kidnapping…na wa oh.
      I pray she gets out unharmed.

    • Scarlet Xianne December 10, 2012 at 9:45 AM

      I pray she gets back home safe. So sad……

      http://www.scarletxianne.blogspot.com

    • NSG December 10, 2012 at 9:57 AM

      Its really pathetic to hear about octogenerians being kidnapped.

      http://naijasportsgists.com/

      • xxx December 10, 2012 at 1:21 PM

        Sorry but I lol’d at your comment, because I never get the unecessary use of grammer in Nigerian newspapers. Before you jump on me I know what it means but most newspapers should be written in lay man’s terms. I hope they find her in good health and take this as a lesson that if they do not nip things in the bud soon enouh, they the “untouchables” will become fair game too.

        • xxx December 10, 2012 at 1:26 PM

          Typos corrected below:
          Sorry but I lol’d at your comment, because I never get the unnecessary use of grammar in Nigerian newspapers. Before you jump on me I know what it means but most newspapers should be written in lay man’s terms. I hope they find her in good health and take this as a lesson that if they do not nip things in the bud soon enough, they the “untouchables” will become fair game too.

        • jyde December 10, 2012 at 2:58 PM

          SEE E don come.Na english be our problem.Nigerians level,use,standard, wetin u wan call am?
          We can speak better english than many english speaking nations.
          I don talk my own grammer finish.
          Are you happy?
          Like say dog go chop corn belle full.
          U no hear me,people dey die/dead/morte kaputt/dying daily.
          My brother e pass grammerO.Before u talk grammer uniform go servr u better dirty slap,widout knife an fork.
          You say make dem no talk for where people fit exchange ideas help nijah.
          O boy abeg park weell 4 one side first.
          Make i close mouth abeg

    • ruth December 10, 2012 at 10:05 AM

      *SMH* wts wrong wit Nigerians?

    • MissShayee December 10, 2012 at 10:07 AM

      Maybe, a different approach to dealing with insecurity in Nigeria will arise now that one of Nigeria’s Leaders family has been affected. Just maybe.

    • my two cents December 10, 2012 at 10:16 AM

      the poor,oppressed, will soon start eating the government people and family

      • Olena Ekaterina Jarrar December 10, 2012 at 10:32 AM

        Omo dada!
        you are right!

    • Sommie™ December 10, 2012 at 10:20 AM

      If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.
      - John F. Kennedy

    • princess zara December 10, 2012 at 11:14 AM

      mtchewwwwwwww ow many people have dey kidnapped in dis country and nothing has byn said abt it….n nw dat it hapind to her…….abeg make i hear word…after everythin na our money dey go bail d mama with…..

      • partyrider December 10, 2012 at 12:35 PM

        try to spell correctly before we take you seriously.

    • Temitope Adewoye December 10, 2012 at 11:14 AM

      This news is just so sad, no further comments.
      http://www.jeenager.com

    • idara December 10, 2012 at 11:58 AM

      unbelieveable

    • jyde December 10, 2012 at 12:37 PM

      Na today?
      Poor woman.an na old woman too.
      Nigeria don scatta even elders no safe.
      Dis na de nijah wey people fight and died inside civil war wey we get today.
      Dem jus put theif dem for govt since so why people sef no go turn to crime.
      Nigeria never see anything.
      we jus dey decieve oursef,see now 82 rys woman held 4ransome.
      O ga minister u better settle quick quick.U get money.
      Make i close mouth sef

    • Lani December 10, 2012 at 1:20 PM

      I pray this woman gets out of this ordeal alive. I first heard this on CNN. CNN! Because she happens to be the mother of the finance minister. If it was some other middle class woman, we wouldn’t hear of it. My only prayer now is that the Government wakes up and starts to do something about the general security in the country. If they need to kidnap Goodluck’s mother for the Government to do something about the incessant kidnapping that goes on in this country, I am in support. Before anyone crucifies me, I say this as the niece of a man kidnapped and tied to a chair for 13 days until his sons could come up with the 2 million naira needed for his ransom. This is not even counting the money spent trying to treat a dehydrated and shocked 72 year old who was tied to a chair for a long time.

      • Ada di ora December 11, 2012 at 9:34 AM

        Oh please spare me!! MY DAD was kidnapped last year and held for almost a week, and it was the worst week of my life so far, with the negotiating, and fear for his life (mind u he was sleeping in bush not on a chair), trying to keep my mother together, and raising the ransom money YET even then I AM NOT IN SUPPORT OF THIS MOVE!! This only showcases the wickedness seen in Nigerians!! We are a wicked group of people!! The leaders are us, just that they end up in power! The wickedness exhibited online and even on this website of folks in support of this, shows that WE are the problem! This will never solve anything!

    • xxx December 10, 2012 at 1:23 PM

      NSG
      Its really pathetic to hear about octogenerians being kidnapped.http://naijasportsgists.com/
      Sorry but I lol’d at your comment, because I never get the unnecessary use of grammar in Nigerian newspapers. Before you jump on me I know what it means but most newspapers should be written in lay man’s terms. I hope they find her in good health and take this as a lesson that if they do not nip things in the bud soon enough, they the “untouchables” will become fair game too.