REVEALED: My mother was kidnapped over fuel subsidy payments – Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Published:17 Dec, 2012



·       My heart is heavy with the news of the passing of my brothers, Governor Patrick Yakowa, General Andrew Aziza and the others who were on that last flight with them. It is indeed a great tragedy. Our sympathy and prayers go to their families. We pray for divine comfort for them in this very difficult time.

·       I want to start by thanking Almighty God for the miracle of the release of my mother, Professor Mrs Kamene Okonjo. The Almighty has, once again, come through brilliantly for me and my family. Even during the bleakest part of this terrible experience, we believed that he would give us a testimony to his goodness and He did not fail us.

·       Even as we thank God, we cannot forget so many Nigerians who have gone through the same terrible experience either as victims or families or friends of victims. Words are not enough to describe the sheer horror of the experience. The best way to honour the victims and families is to ensure that there is greater focus on kidnapping and progress in combatting it. Working with the relevant agencies under the leadership of the President, I intend to contribute my quota to helping achieve this.

·       We also thank Mr President and the First Lady who were absolutely wonderful and first rate in their support and encouragement to me and my family throughout this terrible ordeal. The President took a daily interest in the case and gave directives for appropriate action by the security agencies.

·       The security agencies also did a good job. They were very professional and enthusiastic in the discharge of their duties. I am hopeful that they will complete the job which they started so well.

·       As terrible as the experience was, the love and sympathy of Nigerians was constant and overwhelming. It helped us get through the dark moments of this five day ordeal. God heard the prayers of the millions of Nigerians who prayed for the safe return of my mother. From the bottom of my heart, I thank all those who sent messages of support and encouragement by phone, by email and in person. To those who prayed in their homes and organised prayer circles in their churches and mosques and offices, I say: Thank you. Your prayers were heard.

·       We would also like to register our appreciation for the support of Mr Vice President during this period of trial.

·       Also very deserving of our thanks are Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State who coordinated activities on the ground;  Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State and Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State as well as the majority of the governors who reached out to me and my family.

·       The Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives as well as the Deputy Senate President and the Deputy Speaker

·       I am also grateful to members of the international community for their outpouring of support. Notable in this regard are:
ü  the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Mr David Cameron who took the trouble to write a personal note to encourage me;
ü  the United States embassy and government
ü  the Secretary General of the United Nations and the entire UN family;
ü  the President of the World Bank and former Presidents of the World Bank;
ü  the Managing Director of the IMF;
ü  the Mo Ibrahim Foundation;
ü  Bono and the One Foundation;
ü  Heads of international agencies and dignitaries

·       This experience has strengthened my faith in the country. The outpouring of love from all over the country has been simply overwhelming.  Friends, neighbours, colleagues, acquaintances offered help and encouragement in a myriad ways; even total strangers mobilised prayer groups for the safe return of my mother. We pray that God will reward their selflessness abundantly.


·       I can’t give all the details because we don’t want to compromise on-going investigations.

·       But I can tell you one thing: My mother suffered a great deal during this ordeal. It was only the Almighty God that rescued her from a situation that could very easily have ended tragically.

·       Apart from the emotional trauma of being violently taken away from her family and kept incommunicado for five days in a strange environment, a woman of 83 years was left without food for five days.

·       We give glory to God that she is alive today to tell the tale.

·       While she was in their custody, the kidnappers spent much of the time harassing her. They told her that I must get on the radio and television and announce my resignation.

·       When she asked why, they told her it was because I did not pay “Oil subsidy money”.

·       They also said I had blocked payment of money to certain components of the SURE-P programme.

·       These statements are, of course, not true. In the case of subsidy payments, we have been paying all marketers whose claims have been verified by the Aig-Imoukhuede Committee after going through the necessary processes.

·       For marketers whose transactions are proven to be fraudulent, the position of the Jonathan government is also clear: we cannot and we will not pay. We will not back down on this. We will continue to stand firm.

·       In the case of SURE-P, there is a totally different process that I have no control over.

·       This is the right thing to do. And this, I believe is what the Nigerian people want.

0 thoughts on “REVEALED: My mother was kidnapped over fuel subsidy payments – Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Recent Posts

#MTVMAMA2016: Yemi Alade wins ‘best female’, says women not only good in the kitchen

Yemi Alade, self-acclaimed Mama Africa, beat Tiwa Savage to win the ‘best female artiste’ award at the MTV Africa Music Awards 2016. The Effyzzie Music act is one of three ladies hosting the award ceremony after Trevor Noah, US-based South African comedian, pulled out over health issues. To win the award, Yemi Alade fought off competition from Josey (Ivory Coast), Mz Vee (Ghana), Vanessa Mdee (Tanzania) as well as Mavin singer, Tiwa Savage, While delivering her acceptance speech, Alade reacted to president...

PRESS RELEASE: I have not withdrawn my case against Dogara and others” – Jibrin

It has come to our attention the circulating misrepresentation of facts that our client, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin has withdrawn his suit filed vide FHC/ABJ/CS/595/16 against The Speaker, House of Representatives and 14 others wherein we sought for injunctive reliefs restraining the the Defendants from suspending the Plaintiff, Honourable Abdulmumin Jibrin. This is not the true position of things and the said untrue information is calculated to misinform and in fact disappoint the teeming generality of Nigerians...

FG re-introduces teaching of History in primary, secondary school.

The federal government has finally re-introduced History as one of the subjects in the nation’s primary and secondary schools’ curriculum, explaining that its introduction as an independent subject and not a mere theme was necessitated by the clamour and concerns by several groups, including the Presidency, National Assembly and other critical stakeholders in the education sector. The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, had urged delegates to the recent National Council of Education, NCE, to consider the disarticulation of social...

Customs generates N11 billion in nine months in Oyo.

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Oyo/Osun Command, said it had generated the sum of N11.1 billion between the months of January and September this year. The Customs Area Controller, Temitope Ogunkua, who disclosed this while briefing reporters on the activities of the command, said 188 assorted seizures were made with a duty paid value of N368 million within the period under review. Ogunkua, who assured of the command’s readiness to tackle economic saboteurs and work for the security well-being of the...

Kaduna To Spend N2.55bn On Drones, CCTV

The Kaduna State Government has earmarked over N2.55bn to procure CCTV cameras and drones, to provide adequate security cover in the state in 2017. More than N1.5 billion of the amount was earmarked for the procurement and installation of CCTV cameras in strategic areas of the state, to reduce crime. The figure is contained in the state’s 2017 budget document currently before the state House of Assembly. He said, “The N1.5 billion is for...

Commercial Sex Workers Take Over Jos Trade Fair

Activities of commercial sex works are overshadowing those of exhibitors and traders at the 2016 Jos Trade Fair, holding at the Jos Polo Field, in Jos North local government area of Plateau state. A reporter at the trade fair Thursday night noticed hordes of young sex workers brazenly soliciting patronage by male participants at the event. One of the young workers, who refused to give her name, said the illicit trade was booming because the...

Sultan’s 10th Anniversary Begins Nov. 2

The Sokoto State Government will hold an International Symposium on the legendary Sokoto Caliphate as part of activities marking the 10th anniversary of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III on the throne. ” The caliphate’s contributions to the economy, politics, leadership and good governance in the sub-Saharan region will be the focus of the symposium.” Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Danladi Bako, made this known in a statement in Sokoto on Friday. Bako,...

Attacks on oil installations, vandalism crash monthly allocation by N90.2bn

Despite increase in average price of crude oil at global market from $46.0 per barrel in May to $48.43 in June, sustained attacks on oil installations and pipeline vandalism have reduced total allocation available for sharing to the three tiers of government by N90.2 billion. The picture was made clearer yesterday as the sum of N420 billion was approved for September for sharing as against N510.270 billion disbursed among the three tiers of government in August. Militant attacks on oil installation...

MTN Denies Illegal Transfer Of $14 bn From Nigeria

South Africa’s MTN has denied it illegally transferred $13.9 billion from Nigeria in the latest scandal to hit the telecom firm in its largest market in the continent. The Johannesburg-based firm is facing a parliamentary probe over accusations it connived with senior Nigerian officials to move the funds out of the country without complying with the law. “We would like to reiterate that at no point did MTN Nigeria (MTNN) illegally repatriate funds out of...

Trevor Noah pulls out of 2016 MTV MAMA Awards.

South African comedian Trevor Noah has announced his inability to host the 2016 MTV Africa Music Award (MAMA). The Comedy Central host made the announcement earlier on Friday, explaining he has been suffering from a severe respiratory and ear infection. “Due to the infection and strain on my vocal chords the doctor has ordered me to rest. I desperately wish I could dismiss the doctor but the added risk of flying means the decision would be highly irresponsible  and may cause...

How Mamman Daura became ‘Nigeria’s most powerful nephew’.

Mamman Daura is today described as the “most powerful nephew” in Nigeria by virtue of his closeness to President Muhammadu Buhari. At the centre of the recent complaints by Aisha, Buhari’s wife, is that those who did not participate in the campaign were the ones calling the shots in her husband’s government TheCable understands that Duara is one of those she was referring to, having already complained privately about him. However, what has often not been reported is how Daura came to wield...

No Plan To Reduce Nigerian Flights- Lufthansa

An international carrier, Lufthansa Airline, yesterday said it had no plan to reduce its flight operations in Nigeria. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the airline’s Media Consultant, Mr. Hakeem Jimoh, made the disclosure to aviation correspondents in Lagos. Two foreign airlines, Emirates and Kenya Airways , recently announced the suspension of their flights to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja. While Emirates Airlines said it would stop flights to Abuja from October 22, Kenya Airways said its flights...

World Bank raises 2017 crude oil prices’ forecast to $55 per barrel.

The World Bank yesterday revised upwards its 2017 forecast for crude oil prices, raising it from $53 per barrel to $55 per barrel as members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) prepare to cut output after a long period of unrestrained output. The Bank, in its latest Commodity Markets Outlook, projected that energy prices, which include oil, natural gas and coal, will jump almost 25 percent overall next year, a larger increase than anticipated in July, while...

Suspension: Jibrin withdraws suit against House of Reps.

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday struck out the suit of former Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, Mr. Abdulmumin Jibrin, challenging his suspension from the House. The judge, Justice John Tsoho, struck out the matter after Jibrin’s Counsel, Mr. Chukuma Nwachukwu, told the court that his client had filed a notice of discontinuance. Tsoho decline the request of the defendants for a N200, 000 cost, holding that the defendants were “strong institution and personality”. At the hearing, Jibrin’s counsel,...

Aregbesola tells Nigerians to practice birth control, shun foreign goods.

The Governor of Osun state, Rauf Aregbesola has urged Nigerians to practice birth control and curb excessive desire for foreign food items in order to survive recession. The governor said this on Thursday in Osogbo while hosting some youth who just returned from a training sponsored by the state government in modern agricultural technique at Germany. He explained that his government’s decision to send the youths for the agriculture programme is to boost food production in the state, adding that this...

Meet The Baby Who Was Born Twice

Margaret Boemer went for a routine ultrasound 16 weeks into her pregnancy with her third child. She quickly found out that things were far from routine. "They saw something on the scan, and the doctor came in and told us that there was something seriously wrong with our baby and that she had a sacrococcygeal teratoma," the Plano, Texas, mom said in an interview shared by Texas Children's Hospital. "And it was very shocking and...

Fashion for Charity, Spanish “LaLiga” Unite for IDPs with #KickForHope2016

Who Fashion For Charity Is... Fashion for Charity harnesses the power of fashion, entertainment, and the visual arts to help vulnerable people. From Abuja to Milan to Atlanta, various industry players in fash- ion design, fashion photography, fashion media, modeling and more, have come together to become a force for good in Nigeria and beyond. This year, Fashion for Charity has been focusing on the plight of internally displaced persons from north-eastern Nige- ria. Fashion...

Why Always Me: Another Supreme Court Justice accuses Amaechi of bribery.

The last of the two justices of the Supreme Court arrested during the invasion of the residences of the justices of the court by the Department of State Security Service, DSS, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, yesterday accused the former governor of Rivers State and now, Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of masterminding the operation. Also yesterday, the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA called on the judges accused of corruption to cease adjudicating on cases until the allegations against them are...

First Contest For Mr & Miss Albino Held In Kenya

Youngsters with albinism are stepping into the limelight, hoping to be named Kenya's first Mr and Miss Albino. Albinism has been associated with many negative misconceptions and superstitions. As a result, many albinos suffer stigma, alienation and even physical abuse. The pageant being held later in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, also aims to boost the confidence of young people with albinism. Read More: BBC

Pulse: Obanikoro is going down, but he won’t do so alone.

The walls are closing in on Musiliu Obanikoro, former Minister of State for Defence. Obanikoro has been singing his way deeper and deeper into trouble, sources at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have told Pulse. Obanikoro surprisingly turned himself into the waiting arms of the anti-graft agency as soon as he touched down in Nigeria from the United States last week. The former Lagos State Governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic...

South Africa To Quit International Criminal Court

South Africa is pulling out of the International Criminal Court (ICC) because its obligations are inconsistent with laws giving sitting leaders diplomatic immunity, according to government officials. Justice Minister Michael Masutha said on Friday that the government will soon submit a bill in parliament to withdraw from the court in The Hague, a move that comes as several African countries express concerns over what they call the ICC's disproportionate targeting of the continent. The bill will propose...