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Pastor kidnapped in church after evening service


[FILE] Calabar

Kidnappers on Wednesday night struck in Cross River when they abducted the General Overseer of the Bible Christian Crusade Mission (BCCM), in Calabar, Pastor Joseph Okoro.

He was whisked away in his vehicle from the church premises located at 55, Webber Street, by Elijah Henshaw in Calabar South, immediately after the evening service.

Church members who witnessed the incident said efforts were made by members to stop the kidnappers but were asked by the pastor not to fight as the kidnappers pulled out guns. According to eyewitnesses, the kidnappers disguised as church members and waited until the church programme was over before going for the pastor.


An eyewitness, who narrated the incident, said: “They came in as members. After the programme, the pastor went to his office, and as he was about to leave and move to his car to go home, the kidnappers approached him. Some people tried to struggle with them but they brought out guns and threatened to shoot anyone who interfered. They told everybody to lie down. The pastor asked the people not to struggle, that he would go with them.”

One of the worshipers, Peter Eze, said: “Calabar is no longer safe, how can kidnappers come to a church to abduct a pastor? We are not safe; the government should do something about the insecurity. Cars are stolen everyday; we are in trouble even in the house of God. May God help us.”

Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Irene Ugbo, confirmed the kidnap, saying “the Anti-Kidnapping unit of the police is working on it”.

Meanwhile, suspected ritualists have seized a 13-day old child at Uro Quarters in Akoko Northwest local government area of Ondo State on Wednesday night.

The development, which has thrown the sleepy town into confusion, happened at night when two masked men entered the house.

Sources said the mother of the baby had slept off, but they went inside to kidnap the child.

It was learnt that an elderly woman who woke up possibly to rescue the child was macheted by the hoodlums. Consequently, the community has embarked on combing the bushes, praying to recover the abducted baby.

A neighbour, who spoke in confidence, said there was no mutual love between the couple whose child was stolen.

The monarch of Uro-Ajowa, Oba Ade Ipinmoroti, was not around but the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) for Okeagbe, Adetaranmi Ibitayo, a Superintendent of Police (SP), confirmed the incident.

According to him, he personally visited the scene of the incident at Ajowa Akoko. He said police have started investigation and will get to the root of the matter.

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