Kidnap aftermath; Soludo’s Mother Moved to Unknown Destination

Prof. Chukwuma Soludo’s mother Veronica, has been moved to an unknown destination. 
following the abduction of Pa Simeon Soludo – father of former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the
February 6, 2010 governorship election in Anambra State.
Family sources said yesterday that the movement was for security reasons.
A five-man gang of gunmen operating in a black Mercedes Benz 190 saloon car had stormed Soludo’s family house in Isuofia, Aguata Local Government Area of the state, at
6.30 pm
on Tuesday and abducted the 78-year-old man.
The Soludo Campaign Organisation had claimed Wednesday that a group which called itself “Omega 12” had contacted the organisation demanding N5 billion as ransom to “defray political expenses”.
Security has, however, been beefed up around the Soludos at their family house in Isuofia.
Elder brother to the former CBN governor, Emmanuel, told sympathizers who called at their home that the security beef-up became necessary as a result of the kidnap of their patriarch.
He narrated how the hoodlums besieged their home, saying as soon as they arrived, they got hold of the two children they saw in the compound who they used as “human shield” while embarking on a frantic search of all the rooms ostensibly for the old man’s cell phone which they immediately confiscated on sighting it.
According to him, they thereafter took hold of their father who had just finished taking his bath and was about taking dinner.
“He has washed his hands to begin to eat, but they didn’t allow him before taking him away,” he said, adding that on dragging him to their black Mercedes Benz 190 saloon car, one of the kidnappers vacated his position in the back seat of the car, forced Pa Soludo into the seat sandwiched by two others, while he forced himself into the booth of the car before it sped off.
Another relation of the Soludos, Chike Anyaonu, and expressed worry over Pa Soludo’s failing health before the kidnappers took him away as the old man was not allowed to take his drugs along.
More worrisome, he said, was that they had not heard his voice to establish whether he was still alive or dead.
“Indeed, we are worried about his age, failing health and poor eye sight,” he said.
Meanwhile, the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Philemon Leha, has said the former CBN governor is yet to make an official report to the police command about his father’s abduction.
Leha, in a chat with journalists in Awka last night, said he had expected the PDP candidate to lodge an official complaint in line with normal procedure.
Also reacting to the incident, the pioneer chairman of PDP in
Anambra State
, Chief Joseph Okonkwo, described the act as wicked and irresponsible, adding that the abductors stood to gain nothing from their actions.
He expressed regrets that the kidnappers had struck at a time the state was witnessing tranquillity for more than two months, adding that the combined security agencies of the police, the military and local vigilante had been working hard to ensure that hoodlums were kept at bay.
He prayed that the kidnappers would see reason and release the old man unharmed to the embrace of his family.
The state Police Command had Wednesday invited a PDP chieftain in the state, Chief Chris Uba, for questioning over the kidnap. Others invited for questioning were those who organised the Emmaus House rally in Awka, the state capital, against Soludo’s candidature on the same day Pa Soludo was kidnapped.
Leha said the invitation arose from the fact that it was shortly after the rally, where scathing remarks were made against Soludo’s candidature, that his father was kidnapped.
Some forces within PDP in the state opposed to the candidature of the former CBN governor had converged on Akwa on Tuesday to signify their rejection of Soludo as the party’s flag bearer.