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Kaduna CAN condemns killing of cleric, wife’s abduction

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Chairman, Kaduna Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Joseph Hayab, has condemned the rising cases of kidnapping of pastors and other Christian leaders in the state.

This followed the killing of Ungwar Romi Branch Pastor of Living Faith Church, Jeremiah Omolewa, whom kidnappers shot yesterday after being abducted with his wife and son along the Abuja-Kaduna highway on Sunday night.

Omolewa died at the Barau Dikko specialist hospital where he was taken after being shot.

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Hayab said the kidnapping of pastors and other church leaders in Kaduna has made them an endangered species, urging the federal and state governments to intervene otherwise the Church would start defending itself.

His words: “Between last week and now, kidnappers have launched an attack against pastors in churches, their homes and on the highways. There is a pastor’s daughter in Kudenda who was kidnapped and they are demanding N4 million as ransom.

“Now, we have a Living Faith Church Pastor who has been kidnapped and killed and his wife is still with the kidnappers. We are now expressing fear that this is a deliberate attack on pastors and a plan to now start kidnapping clerics in Kaduna.

“CAN is worried that Kaduna kidnappers have turned their net on pastors. In Kasuwa Magani, kidnappers invaded Reverend Chris Joe house on Thursday. We have not seen the government going after the kidnappers. Christian pastors are no longer safe in the state.”

However, police authorities in Kaduna represented by Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Yakubu Sabo, did not respond to calls on his mobile telephone as at press time.

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Besides, abductors of the traditional ruler of Obom–Agbogugu autonomous community in Awgu Council of Enugu State, Igwe Sunday Orji and his wife have asked for N50 million ransom for their release.

The Guardian learnt from one of the sons yesterday that the kidnappers had contacted the family and demanded the ransom.

Orji and his wife were kidnapped on Sunday evening along the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway while returning from Awgu where they attended a thanksgiving service in honour of Ezinne Ekedimma Okoye, mother of the Catholic Bishop of Awgu Diocese, Reverend John Ifeanyichukwu Okoye.

Meanwhile, responding to the increasing insecurity, the Enugu State Government yesterday resolved to send anti-kidnapping bill to the House of Assembly.

Secretary to the state government (SSG), Professor Simeon Ortuanya, disclosed this after Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s meeting with Vigilance/Neighbourhood Watch groups from the 17 councils.

He explained that the bill became necessary to strengthen the security of lives and property, adding that the state government also resolved to overhaul the Vigilante/Neighbourhood Watch structure for improved service delivery and that the Neigbourhood Watch Law 2016 would be reviewed.


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