Some unidentified gunmen have abducted Mr. Watson Iti, the octogenarian father of the lawmaker representing Brass Constituency II in the State House of Assembly, Mr. Watson-Alfred Belemote in Bayelsa State.
Mr. Watson Iti was abducted by four gunmen operating along the waterways of state on Saturday morning.
The victim, who hails from Okpoama kingdom of Brass Local Government Area, was reportedly whisked away while he was conveying the body of his deceased wife for burial.
According to reports, the incident happened about 9.25am along the Okpoama-Egweama waterways of the area.
A source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “Watson is a respected chief in Okpoama kingdom. His wife died and her body was deposited at the Okpoama mortuary.
“On Saturday, he was taking the body to his wife maternal home at Egweama which is about seven minutes’ away from Okpoama when gunmen attacked them.
“The gunmen were four and they were operating on a 75 horsepower boat. The chief was travelling with the casket bearing his wife’s body on a 115 horsepower speedboat. The gunmen shot four times at them and forced them to stop.”
The source said when the assailants approached the boat, they gave the boat driver machete cuts, stole handsets and other valuables belonging to the boat’s occupants and whisked the aged Watson away to an unknown destination.
Confirming the incident, the lawmaker asked the kidnappers to release his father unconditionally, alleging that the abductors “were within the community”.
He vowed he would not pay any ransom to the abductors, adding that efforts were being made to locate his father and the kidnappers.
Belemote said, “I am asking them to release my father unconditionally because it was something done by people within. How can you kidnap an old man who was going to bury his dead wife?”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Asinim Butswat, confirmed the incident.
The police spokesman said the police were investigating the development.