Adeboye urges prayers as gunmen abduct 5 pastors

The general overseer, The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, has disclosed that five ministers of the church who were on their way to attend the church’s Ministers’ Conference in Lagos were abducted.

Adeboye made the disclosure Friday while giving a talk at the Redeemed Camp on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

Adeboye said the abduction took place on Thursday on the Ijebu-Ode axis, charging the congregation to pray for the release of the abductees.

According to him, this is the first time such incident of that magnitude is happening.

“As a father, how do you think I should feel to hear that five of my children have been kidnapped while on their way to attend the Ministers Conference?”

Meanwhile, the Enugu state police command has confirmed killing of a Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Paul Offu, of St. James Greater Parish, Ugwawka, in Nkanu East local government area of the state, by gunmen.

The command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Ebere Amaraizu, made the confirmation while speaking to newsmen Friday in Enugu.

He vowed that the police would do everything possible to apprehend those behind the “dastardly act.”

The spokesman, however, said it was not right to blame the incident on Fulani herdsmen when the culprits had not been apprehended.

“We are on top of the matter and everything is being done to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident that claimed the life of the priest,” he said.

Colleagues kick

Reacting, no fewer than 200 Catholic priests within the Diocese of

Enugu protested in the streets of Enugu to register their displeasure.

The priests, who marched peacefully through major roads within Enugu metropolis clad in their white official cassocks holding placards with various inscriptions; “Enough is Enough,” “Catholic Priests are Target of Hoodlums,”  “We Cannot be Living in Fear,” “Government Must Address Security Challenge in Enugu” and “We Are Not Happy with Government.”

Addressing journalists, the Catholic Bishop of Enugu, Most Rev. Callistus Onaga, said the protest was to register the displeasure of the diocese over the incessant attacks on Catholic priests by hoodlums in the state, which had lasted for seven ears now.

Onaga said the Catholic priests were simply demanding for more security in the state, adding that “if there are crop of bad herdsmen in the state they should be fished out and we will continue to live in peace with the good ones.”

The bishop, however, noted that the attack had become unbearable as the diocese lost a priest in March, who was killed by suspected armed herdsmen.

He said two weeks ago, another priest was shot in the state and “he is still receiving intensive medical attention as we speak.”

“I am sorrowful and utterly disappointed on the security in the state. This year alone, we [diocese] have suffered some casualties. While we get worried when our priests are attacked is that it shows the level of insecurity other Nigerians face daily.

“Our priests are very much respected and honoured by the people [locals], so if these things can happen to them, what happens to the flocks (the people they shepherd). We were shocked to see a priest that joined in our meeting yesterday afternoon in this Bishop house very healthy and sound, being reported to have died.

“Everybody is so mad; because it is becoming too constant especially within the past six or seven years now; we have suffered serious kidnapping of our priests. It is becoming too bad. In 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, our priests were kidnapped at various locations in the state.”

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