On the heels of early Saturday morning abduction of Sir Tonye Okio , a representative of former governor of Bayelsa state in Abuja by unknown gunmen, a group in Yenagoa, Bayelsa Democratic Front (BDF), has alleged that his fate might be linked to his critical comments about President Goodluck Jonathan and his membership of the New Peoples Democratic Party.
Okio served under the administration of ex-Governor Timipre Sylva and is said to have remained a loyal aide of the former governor. Okio’s comments, especially on the social media, about Jonathan and his involvement with the nPDP, whose members are currently being hounded in Bayelsa State, had rankled many in Abuja and Yenagoa before news filtered out of his abduction on Saturday from his Abuja residence.
BDF said in a statement on Saturday by its President-General, Promise Okpoebi, “Until evidence is adduced to the contrary, we strongly suspect that Sir Okio’s abduction is linked to his current political convictions, including his open membership of the New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) in Bayelsa State.”
The group demanded Okio’s immediate and unconditional release.
BDF in its statement said, “We have just been informed that early Saturday morning, unknown gunmen stormed the Abuja residence of the former Bayelsa State Governor’s Representative in Abuja, Sir Tonye Okio, and plucked him away to an unknown destination along with his mobile phone.
“The mobile phone of his sister living with him was also forcefully taken away.
As we of the Bayelsa Democratic Front (BDF) write this statement, we have not been able to establish the identity of Sir Okio’s abductors or establish communication with him. But we know it as a matter of fact that since leaving office along with former Governor Timipre Sylva, Okio has remained a fiercely loyal aide of his principal. He has also been a known social media critic of the Goodluck Jonathan syndicate and their puppet administration in Yenagoa.
“Until evidence is adduced to the contrary, we strongly suspect that Sir Okio’s abduction is linked to his current political convictions, including his open membership of the New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) in Bayelsa State.
“Sir Tonye Okio is a Knight of the Catholic Church, and a law-abiding citizen who does not deserve to be punished for his beliefs unless, of course, the ruling authorities want us to believe that Nigeria has ceased to be a law-governing society.
“We, thus, demand his immediate and unconditional release by his captors.