Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Twenty three days after he was kidnapped by armed men at his country home, Elemebiri in Sagbama Local Government Area, former Nigerian envoy, Amb Felix Oboro has regained his freedom.
Oboro a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC) was a former senator and Secretary to Bayelsa State Government and also a former ambassador to Venezuela.
He was kidnapped on Friday September 4 and the gunmen contacted the family asking for a ransom which was believed to have been paid before he regained his freedom over the weekend.
The 15 gunmen who stormed his country home were said to have wore Army uniform and were fully armed.
They had upon searching his phone gone through his bank alerts and saw a N5million alert which made them to initially demand a ransom of N5Omillion before reducing it to N11million.
A family source, Mr Tuebi Ekotimi confirmed that Amb Oboro was released to a three-man delegation of the family after the ransom was delivered along the Ayama- Oporoma area of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area
“Contrary to the expectation of the family, Daddy (Felix Oboro) is strong and in a healthy state. When the news of his release came, everyone was happy and jubilating” he said.
The national spokesman of the Ijaw Youths Council worldwide, (IYC), Mr Ebilade Eerekefe while expressing happiness over his release condemned the abduction of the elder statesman and called on the security agencies to ensure the arrest of those involved in the dastardly act.
“Sen. Felix Oboro is a well-respected Ijaw leader and an elders statesman who has served the Ijaw Nation and Nigeria in different capacities. It’s quite unfortunate that he was treated unfairly by his abductor. He does not deserve the kind of treatment he’s going through considering his health challenges as an elder. The IYC will beef up its intelligence gathering system within the clans to support the security agencies effort at bringing the kidnappers to book” he added.
The former secretary of the Civil Liberty Organisation (CLO) Mr Morris Alagoa described the abduction and release of Ambassador Oboro as a very sad commentary.
”From kidnapping of oil workers and foreigners to our own very people, I saw this coming long ago, when they were kidnapping others”