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We didn’t pay any ransom for the release of Edwin Clark’s son —Delta State Government •Says MEND’s allegation ‘very foolish’

By News Express on 08/04/2014

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The Delta State Government in South-South Nigeria this morning dismissed as “very foolish” the claim by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) that it paid half a billion naira to secure the release of Ebikeme Clark, son of Chief E.K. Clark, who was kidnapped last Wednesday in his Kiagbado community and freed on Sunday.

A statement signed by Secretary to the Delta State Government, Comrade Ovuozorie Macaulay, declared that the Emmanuel Uduaghan administration did not pay even a kobo to secure the release of Ebikeme as it has a policy of not paying ransom to kidnappers. The statement, a copy of which as made available to News Express, reads as follows:

“The attention of the Delta State Government has been drawn to a release by a group called MEND, alleging that the Delta State Government parted with the sum of N500m as ransom for the release of Mr. Ebikeme Clark, son of Chief E.K. Clark who was kidnapped and released a few days ago. In the said statement, it was also alleged that the kidnap was stage managed by Ebikeme Clark and the police to swindle the State Government of such an amount.

“The Delta State Government wishes to State categorically that it did not part with any money as ransom for the release of Mr. Ebikeme Clark. It is the policy of the Government not to pay or encourage the payment of ransom by families as this encourages more kidnappings. The state government has had previous cases of high profile kidnappings that the victims have been kept much longer than that of Ebikeme. The government did not pay any ransom. What then is so special about Mr. Ebikeme Clark that will make the State Government pay ransom?

“Secondly the volume of money being mentioned, N500m makes the allegation very foolish for anyone who knows how government runs and the logistics of that volume of fund movement, considering the fact that there were only two working days during the period.

”From the statement by the so called MEND, it is obvious that they are out not just to blackmail the State Government but also Chief E.K. Clark and the amnesty programme of the Federal Government.

“The Delta State Government wishes to advise the people of the Niger Delta especially those still hiding under the umbrella of MEND, that the tactics of blackmail, falsehood, rumour mongering and intimidation in the region are gone. The region is in a phase of infrastructure and human capital development catch up which will ultimately ensure peace in the region. Let all hands be on deck.”

•Photo shows Delta SSG, Comrade Ovuozorie Macaulay.

Source News Express

Posted 08/04/2014 8:04:59 PM

 

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