Nigeria Army said on Thursday that soldiers had arrested 63 people in raids as they searched for Prof. Kamene Okonjo, the 82-year-old mother of Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
“Yesterday the Four Brigade raided Ogwashi-Ukwu in search of Mama,” Army spokesperson Roseline Managbe, toldReuters.
“Those arrested are being questioned.”
Managbe said two Lebanese men working for Nigerian construction company Setraco had been abducted on Tuesday in Delta State by gunmen who killed a soldier protecting them.
“It could be my turn tomorrow,” said Tony Agwu, who lives near Okonjo’s house.
“It’s a terrible situation down here. The security agents in the Delta are compromised.”
The police said on Tuesday that two policemen had been arrested on suspicion of helping kidnappers.
Political motives have been suggested for the abduction. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s drive to reform a corrupt economy ruffled powerful vested interests, especially fuel importers.
A security source in Delta State said Okonjo was involved in local politics and seizing her might have been a scare tactic.