Nigerian writer Elechi Amadi, who was abducted earlier this week, has been freed, the Guardian reported. On Monday evening, three unidentified gunmen took the seventy-four-year-old author from his home near Port Harcourt, Nigeria's conflict-ridden oil capital in the Niger Delta. According to Amadi's wife, who was present at the time of the kidnapping, the author did not resist his abductors, and his family was not harmed.
Lieutenant colonel Sagir Musa, spokesperson for the Niger Delta's Joint Task Force, stated that the motives for kidnapping were "pecuniary," but that no ransom was paid for Amadi's release. BBC News reported that some members of Amadi's family suspect the abduction was related to the author's chairmanship of the state scholarship board, where he has distributed funds to indigenous students under an anti-corruption policy that has upset some powerful parties.
Prior to the author's release, authors including Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka spoke out against the abduction. "It is abominable conduct," Soyinka wrote in an e-mail message published in the Guardian, "and the literary community will regard it as a deliberate act of assault, no less reprehensible than the acts of state violence against writers under military dictatorships, and will respond accordingly."
Amadi is the author of four novels, including The Concubine (Heinemann, 1966), as well as poetry, essays, plays, and a memoir of his experiences serving in the Nigerian civil war.