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How we rescued hostages Gov Jonathan

Posted by By Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa on 2006/02/01 | Views: 368 |

How we rescued hostages Gov Jonathan


Bayelsa State Governor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has declared that no ransom was paid for the release of the four oil expatriates release Monday morning by the militant group, Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta.

Bayelsa State Governor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has declared that no ransom was paid for the release of the four oil expatriates release Monday morning by the militant group, Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta.

This is coming at a time there is insinuation that the state government parted with a whopping sum of 100million naira to secure the release of the hostages.

Jonathan, who described as traumatic the experience of Bayelsa State government officials throughout the period of the kidnap saga, said three hotels were rented in Warri and Yenagoa for the groups recruited to facilitate the release of the hostages. He said the committee earlier set up by the Federal Government was not effective.

According to him, "they did not ask for money. They said they were freedom fighters and there were political undertones on some of the issue raised, but largely it centres on the development of the Niger Delta".

On how the hostages were released to the state government delegation, Jonathan explained that the people who brought them came in two speed boats to the Sagbama River, adding that one boat was left at the middle of the sea while the other one brought the hostages to the shore where the hostages were handed over to the state government.
Jonathan took a swipe at some politicians he accused of trying to capitalise on the hostage incident to rubbish the state government.

"If people understand what we went through they would not say rubbish. The hostages were taken off the Coast of Bayelsa. They were in Delta State. If they were in Bayelsa nobody will hide, we will know. Throughout the negotiation period, we did not know their hideout. If anybody is sponsoring any publication to indict government, that person is not God-fearing.

"They were kept in a separate state that the government of Bayelsa has no authority over. It is the goodwill of the tribal sentiment that we were able to get them out. The other areas that gave us frustration was that a lot of politicians cashed in on the hostage incident. So many people were approaching them. Other groups and politicians wanted to play politics with the hostages and started to reach out to the people and sponsoring various rewards and so on," he added.

Dr. Jonathan said the state government pleaded with the Federal Government not to attack the communities after the hostages were released, while promising that his administration would reach out to various groups and open a channel of communication to solve their numerous problems.

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