Diri rules out payment of ransom for kidnapped commissioner’s release


Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa has ruled out the payment of ransom to secure the release of the Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Mr Federal Otokito.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Otokito was kidnapped on Thursday at his country home, Otuokpoti in Ogbia Local Government Area of the state.

A statement by Diri’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, on Monday urged youths of the state to shun kidnapping, which the governor described as counter-productive.

Diri called for the immediate and unconditional release of the commissioner, vowing that the state’s laws against kidnapping would be followed to the letter.

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He said, “I left Yenagoa for Abuja and within the period one of my cabinet members was kidnapped. A lot of people expected me to make statements but I am not a man of too many words.

“I advise those who settle scores by kidnapping and criminality that there are laws of Bayelsa State against kidnapping.

“Let me call on those that kidnapped my Commissioner of Trade and Investment to immediately release him without any conditions.

“I have been on it from the beginning till now and I will ensure that he is released unhurt.

“I advise all others involved in that criminal, ungodly and inhumane act to have a change of mind and leave that illegitimate business.’’

It was gathered that the gunmen who abducted the commissioner had demanded the release of the father of their leader, who is in police custody as condition to free Otokito.

They were said to have contacted the paramount ruler of Otuokpoti to demand the swap of the father of their leader with the commissioner.(NAN)

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