Unidentified gunmen on Wednesday struck in Otuoke, former President Goodluck Jonathan’s hometown, abducting the ex-President’s first cousin and foster father, Chief Inengite Nitabai.
The 72-year-old Nitabai, a prominent chief of Otuoke in the Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, was whisked away from his resident at about 3.30am by seven armed men.
Though details of his abduction were sketchy, a security source, who craved anonymity, told our correspondent that the gunmen gained access to Nitabai’s residence through the creek.
The victim’s residence is located beside a creek, some distance away from a military checkpoint close to the Otuoke bridge, off the Onuebum-Otuoke Road.
Nitabai is described as the head of the compound from where the former President hails from.
It was learnt that the septuagenarian, though cousin to the former President, had been acting as a father figure to Jonathan since the death of his (Jonathan’s) biological father.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Bayelsa State Command, Mr. Asinim Butswat, confirmed the abduction.
Butswat said, “On February 17, 2016, at about 03.30pm, seven unknown gunmen abducted Chief Inengite Nitabai in his residence in Otuoke, Ogbia Local Government Area.
“A massive manhunt has been launched by a combined team of the Marine Police and the Anti-Kidnapping Unit of the command to rescue the victim and arrest the abductors. Investigation is ongoing.”
It will be recalled that Nitabai was abducted two years ago by 10 armed men and spent about three weeks in the kidnappers’ den before he regained his freedom.