The mother of the Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was yesterday in the quiet town of Ogwashi-Uku in Delta state abducted from the palace of her husband, who is the traditional ruler of the town, Obi (Prof.) Chukwuka Okonjo.
The abductors were said to have disguised themselves as the palace guards.
The 82-year-old woman, Kanene Okonjo, a retired professor of Sociology from University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is the queen mother of Ogwashi uku was abducted at about 1:47pm by a gang of armed men that captured her in a commando fashion at the gate of the palace at Ogbe-ofu and squeezed her into a waiting Golf Volkswagen car that was parked by the gate of the palace barely an hour after her husband went out.
According to Sahara Reporters, a man suspected to have aided the kidnap was immediately arrested the police. He was believed to have earlier told the housemaid that he was at the palace to take the queen mother somewhere in town for a traditional event but left the compound a few minutes before the incident took place.
The kidnappers numbering about 10 were said to have lurked around the palace until Prof. (Mrs.) Okonjo and her maid came down to serve workers at the gate some refreshments.
gathered that as soon as the grand old lady came down from the main building and headed towards the gate, the kidnappers moved in and grabbed her.
The abductors who were said to have been heavily armed, quickly took vantage positions and ordered the workers fixing the interlocking tiles in the compound to lie face down before moving to capture the minister’s mother.
One of the dare-devil bandits was said to have gone and took the handbag belonging to their victim before they zoomed off with her.
A source close to the palace said in a telephone interview, “Immediately they saw our king’s wife, the Queen Mother, who was coming towards the gate with her maid to serve the workers soft drinks, she was seized and thrown into a waiting Golf car while another car was parked outside.”
The development, it was gathered, shook the minister of finance, who was busy throughout yesterday making arrangement with top security chiefs in Abuja to free her mother from the hoodlums.