18th October, 2013
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, has revealed that it has established contact with the kidnappers of Augusta Douglas-Ayam, the sister of Mr Oronto Douglas, Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Research and Strategy.
The kidnappers have demanded for N500 million ransom before they could free Augusta who was seized at about 8p.m. on Monday in Ogbia town.
In an online statement signed by MEND spokesman Jomo Gbomo and made available to P.M.NEWS, the group said: “the gang in addition to seeking ransom wants to use the kidnap to express their disgust due to the ostentation they witnessed during the burial of Pa Douglas, Oronto’s the late father, which included the abuse of military helicopters which were used as a social shuttle service to ferry guests when such could have been put to better use.”
MEND said although the kidnappers wanted the group (MEND) to mediate in the ransom demand, it has, however, declined.
“As we do not wish to be dragged into playing the role of an intermediary with kidnappers, we have declined their request to get involved based on principles.
“We, however, appealed to them to release the victim, who was last seen looking well but harassed, unharmed at the earliest.”
MEND refused to disclose the location of the victim and the identities of the kidnappers.
—Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt