By Richard Elesho
In spite of loud promises to ensure her safe and early rescue, anxieties has continued to mount over the whereabouts of Mama Seriya Raji, one month after her abduction. The 79-year-old victim is the mother of Asuku Jamiu, Chief of Staff to Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello.
The old woman was abducted from her house in Nagazi Okene after observing evening prayers on Monday 13th December, last year. The State government blamed political sabotage for her kidnap but assured that nothing would be spared to enforce her rescue.
It is not clear if the gunmen have established contact with the family or set the terms for her release. This has further fuelled worries and speculations about her safety.
It was however gathered that a combination of the security personnel, vigilantes and hunters have been on the alert for her rescue. A source familiar with the hunts, but who preferred not to be named said the operatives were tracking the old woman’s location through her phone.
The source claimed Mama Seriya’s mobile phone was turned on about three times in the early days of her abduction. He noted that each time operatives got to the last location in the bush, they would see evidences of food and other signs, but the wanted group would have left.
Asuku, who is rumoured to habour Governorship ambition is on a path familiar to his boss. Yahaya Bello’s mother was kidnapped in 2014 before he became Governor. The gunmen set N35 million random on her head. She was however released for N20 million.
The News reported that gunmen in the evening of Monday 13 December, 2021, invaded the residence of Asuku’s mother, in Adavi and whisked her to an unknown destination. Stories on the abduction went viral in the social media.
A resident of Inese/Ovakere new layout in Nagazi community, Adavi LGA where the Mrs Raji lives then, said the gunmen stormed her residence at about 7:40p.m shortly after she observed evening (Ishai) prayer.
The abductors according to the source were six in number, dressed in black suites with masks holding Ghana Must Go bag suspected to have contained some guns and other dangerous weapons.
He said they entered her house through the mosque and led her away to yet to be identified destination using the car they brought. The Kogi State Police Command confirmed the abduction.
Efforts to reach the Police Command Public Relations Officer, PPRO, DSP William Aya for updates on investigations and rescue efforts were unsuccessful.
Insecurity has been on the rise in the State in recent times. Serial abductions in Kabba-Bunu-Ijunu, MopAmuro and Adavi LGAs in addition to the jailbreak in Kabba Correctional Home are strong indications that kogi may be under siege, indeed. Last December gunmen raided banks in Egbe and Odo Ere in Yagba West Local Government Area. Many people were killed in the attacks.