By Osa Okhomina, Yenagoa
There were jubilation in some parts of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital over the release of three persons abducted by armed gunmen for ransom in the state.
Among those kidnapped and released after days in kidnappers’ den include Queen Tina Inegbagha, the wife of the paramount ruler of Ayakoro Community in Ogbia local government area of the state and Mr. Egbele Jack, a school principal.
The third person released is a senior accountant with the Nigerian Content and Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr. Numodogio Micah abducted a fortnight ago by sea pirates, operating within the water route of Brass local government area of the state.
The Chief Majesty Inegbagha, a member of the monarch’s family who confirmed the development on Saturday said the two were set free on Thursday.
He recalled that they were abducted by gunmen at Ayakoro on December 16, 2017 and taken to unknown destination, a development which put the community into panic and mourning.
He said that an undisclosed amount of ransom was paid to secure their release, adding that the kidnappers had earlier demanded N100million and reduced to N30 and N5million as the families of the victims kept negotiating for downward review of the sum.
Inegbagha, younger brother to the monarch said the release of the wife of the paramount ruler and the principal threw Ayakoro into jubilation when the news got to the community.
Commenting on his wife’s release, the elated paramount ruler, HRH Righteous Inegbagha, expressed deep appreciation to God and the people who contributed in prayers, cash and kind to facilitate the freedom of the two victims.
He also appealed to the kidnappers and those linked them in the community to repent from their nefarious acts to sustain the existing peaceful and law-abiding legacies left behind by the founding fathers of the community.
Narrating their experience both the wife of the paramount ruler Mrs. Tina Inegbagha and Mr. Egbele Jack expressed happiness and thanked God for their release.
According to them the kidnappers gave them good treatments, particularly to the wife of the paramount ruler who was accorded the status of the wife of a king and given royal attention in captivity.
Leader of Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) in the Bayelsa East Senatorial district, comprising Nembe, Brass and Ogbia, Comr. Amiebi Turner, said the release was welcomed.
Comr. Turner also commended the former leader of MEND, Farah Dagogo, for contracting Martins Kelvin of Dubari Global Resources, popularly called General Lugard, for the surveillance of Nembe/Brass axis, to secure the Attio crude pipeline flowing from Nembe to Bonny.
The IYC leader noted that Ijaw Youths have thrown its overwhelming support behind Lugard, as they expressed confidence in him, affirming his capability to protect critical oil and gas facilities, lives and properties in that axis.