[dropcap type=”1″]G[/dropcap]unmen yesterday struck in Bayelsa State and abducted the 85-year-old Paramount Ruler of Gbarantoru community in Yenagoa Local Government Area, His Royal Highness Chief Benjamin Weke.

It was gathered that the octogenarian was kidnapped at his residence in the state capital on Friday morning.

A close family member told The Nation that the traditional ruler was notified of his impending kidnap in a warning letter 34 days before his abduction yesterday.

The source, who spoke in confidence, said the gunmen sent a letter to the monarch on July 1, intimating him of their plan.

She said:  “The gunmen were about four in number and they were heavily armed. They came around 1am and forced their way into the monarch’s home. The wife was the first to wake up. She later woke up his Highness.

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“They immediately seized him and took some money meant for the traditional marriage of one of his sons scheduled to hold today (Saturday).

“They also beat up the wife who escorted them through the footpath behind his residence to the waterside where they escaped with a speedboat to an unknown location.”

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Confirming the incident, the Spokesman of the Bayelsa State Police Command, Asinim Butswatt, DSP, who regretted the incident, said the family could not make contact with the police until 5am.

“The marine component of the police have been alerted and are combing the creeks to find their whereabouts ,” he said.

It will be recalled that, a fortnight ago, two Chiefs from Okpoama community in Brass Local Government Area of the state, Chief Blessing Wagio and Chief Isaac Akono-Igolo, were kidnapped and a N50m ransom demanded for their release.

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