Five days after she was kidnapped by unknown gunmen, the 82 year-old mother of the Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Prof. Kamene Okonjo has been released. She was kidnapped last Sunday from her home in Delta State.
The Special Adviser on Media to the Okonjo-Iweala, Paul Nwabuikwu, said she was released this morning. These are excerpts of his statement according to Premium Times.
“I can confirm that Professor Mrs Kamene Okonjo, wife of the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku, Professor Chukuka Okonjo and mother of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy/Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was released this morning, five days after her abduction.
The Okonjo Family is full of thanks to the Almighty for this happy development. The family is also highly appreciative of the support and encouragement of President Goodluck Jonathan; the Country’s security services for their excellent operations; Governors Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta, Peter Obi of Anambra, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers and other Governors as well other friends and well wishers within and outside government for their prayers and encouragement during a very difficult period. May God bless you all,” Mr Nwabuikwu said in the statement.
He did not offer any further explanation on how her release was secured, nor how much ransom was paid.
It was reported earlier that Mrs Okonjo’s abductors made various demands, including an initial demand for the payment of about N1billion, which they later reduced to N200 million, and a call for the immediate resignation of the Minister from office.
We are glad she has been released and is now safe with her family and friends.