Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson has blamed those he described as “failed politicians” for the series of kidnappings in the state.
Betinah, the 78-year-old mother of the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr Konbowei Benson, was kidnapped in her residence in Korokorosei, Southern Ijaw Local Government, recently.
Her abductors had allegedly demanded N40m for her release.
Dickson, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, on Monday, said the aim of kidnap sponsors was to scare away investors and make the state ungovernable.
He said, “Such politicians, especially the arrowheads of those who have lost out in the power equation in the state, are working hard behind the scenes with some forces outside the state to sponsor kidnapping of innocent citizens in the state.
“Indeed, it is clear to all that this government has been able to turn around Bayelsa State from a haven of cultism, violence and criminality to a state that is clearly adjudged as one of the most peaceful and stable states in the country.”
Meanwhile, the kidnappers of Betinah are said to have refused to set her free until they reach a conclusion on a safe place to pick their ransom.
A security source told our correspondent that the kidnappers had concluded negotiation with her family but were looking for a convenient location to collect their ransom said to be N40m.
“They have concluded negotiation on the money that would be paid to them to release the woman. But the problem is locating a terrain where the agreed ransom will be dropped for them,” the source, who pleaded anonymity, said.