Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala today opened up about the kidnappers who held her mother hostage for 5 days.
Okonjo-Iweala, who is also the coordinating minister of the economy, has been in a highly publicized struggle with fuel importers over payment of subsidies, with government officials delaying payments to allow for verification of claims.
In her first public comments on the kidnapping ordeal, she said her 83-year-old mother, Kamene Okonjo, was held “for five days without food or water.”
She was freed last Friday.
“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,” Okonjo-Iweala said in a statement.
“When she asked why, they told her it was because I did not pay ‘oil subsidy money,’” the statement added.
The finance minister did not take questions and made no comment as to whether a ransom was paid. The circumstances surrounding her mother’s release remain unclear.