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Gunmen kidnap mother of Nigerian politician; ship attacked

Gunmen kidnap mother of Nigerian politician; ship attacked

Gunmen seized the mother of a newly elected state governor in oil-rich southern Nigeria, police said Tuesday.
The navy, meanwhile, reported an attack off southern Bayelsa state by gunmen armed with dynamite and assault rifles on a vessel carrying foreign oil workers. Captain Obiora Medani had no further information on the early Tuesday ship attack.
The mother of governing party Governor-elect Celestine Omeiha was kidnapped overnight from her home in southern Rivers state, said police Commissioner Felix Ogbaudu. The kidnappers have not yet made any demands.
"We have some clues and we are working on it," Ogbaudu said.
Omeiha was elected governor of Nigeria's richest state two weeks ago in polls characterized by widespread violence and vote-rigging. Nigeria's governing People's Democratic Party won by a landslide, dismissing criticism by international and domestic observers.
On the day of the election for state governor on April 14, two police stations were set on fire and seven officers killed.
The parents and sister of an opposition candidate were kidnapped, and he was told his family would be murdered if he discussed election irregularities, or his family would be murdered. The following week an attempt was made to kidnap the candidate who would become vice president-elect as he returned to vote in his home in Nigeria's Delta region.
Competition is fierce for lucrative government posts in Africa's largest oil exporter. Despite generating tens of billions of dollars in oil revenue annually, most people live below the poverty line and massive government corruption has meant social services are largely nonexistent.
Rivers state alone has an annual budget of US$1.3 billion but most of the money designated for roads, clinics or schools has been stolen.
Kidnapping foreign workers for cash has become common in the lawless region. However, the rate of attacks has fallen during last month's elections as armed groups hired themselves out as political thugs.


Updated : 2021-06-18 04:22 GMT+08:00