The finance minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Okonjo Iweala is frantic as reports her mother has been kidnapped are all over the internet.
The former World Bank chief has made many enemies in the last one year, since she assumed the de-facto role of Prime Minister in oil rich but grossly corrupt Nigeria.
Her attempts to clean up the oil subsidy programme in the 35th most corrupt country in the world has garnered her more enemies than admirers.
Okonjo-Iweala’s mother is the wife of His Majesty, Professor Chukwuka Aninshi Okonjo Agbogidi, reigning Obi of Ogwashi-Uku kingdom.
She was kidnapped Sunday at about 1:30 pm from the husband’s palace at Ogbe-Ofu quarters in Ogwahi-Uku by ten gunmen who stormed the palace in two cars.
The kidnappers had laid down in wait until the woman and her housemaid came down to the gate to offer drinks to some workers in the house. Eyewitness accounts say as soon as she emerged from the main building towards the gate, the gunmen also moved in from the gate, grabbed her and forced her into a waiting Volkswagen Golf car.
A source said, “The kidnappers were heavily armed. They were about 10 in number. They bailed up the men fixing the interlocking tiles and told them to lie down flat. Immediately they saw the king’s wife, they bundled her into the Golf car while they had another car outside.”
The eyewitnesses also said that one of them went upstairs to collect the woman’s handbag. The maid was said to have hidden from the kidnappers in the kitchen upon sighting them.
The State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Charles Mouka, while confirming this incident to our correspondent, also disclosed that the police had enough useful information to track down the kidnappers.
Her husband, Chukwuka Okonjo, is a retired professor of economics.
The kidnappers are yet to make contact with the family.