Gunmen kidnap Bayelsa speaker’s 78-year-old mother

Speaker of Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Konbowei Benson

Gunmen yesterday kidnapped the mother of the Speaker of Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Konbowei Benson, at her residence in Korokorosei in Southern Ijaw Local Government. Mrs. Bethina Benson, 78, was abducted by about 10 gunmen, who invaded the area with two speed boats about 12.30am.

They shot sporadically into the air before taking their victim away. The whereabouts of the speaker’s mother were unknown at press time.

This generated panic among family members yesterday. The speaker said in a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Affairs, Piriye Kiyaramo, that they were yet to establish contact with the kidnappers.

He said the matter had been reported to the police. When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Fidelis Odunna, confirmed the incident. He said policemen had been deployed to creeks to rescue Mrs. Benson.

Although no reason was given for the abduction of the speaker’s mother, investigation showed that the abduction might not be unconnected with the looming crisis over Korokorosei Community Development Committee election.

It was gathered that the election of the chairman of the committee used to rotate from one compound to the other, but the speaker allegedly imposed his brother, Iniokpoemi Benson, on the community as the next chairman.

The imposition, according to investigation, is not going down well with majority of members of the community. But the speaker’s loyalists said Benson did not impose his brother, adding that he was not instigating crisis in the community.

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