Prelate faults intelligence reports, insists his abductors were Fulani
•Gumi cautions FG, Nigerians against escalating insecurity
Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Dr. Samuel Chukwuemeka Uche, yesterday, insisted that those who kidnapped him three weeks ago were Fulani, contrary to intelligence reports that the prime suspect hails from his village.
The cleric, who faulted investigations that the offender was a native that had reportedly been arrested at a bank, where he allegedly wanted to lodge his roughly N20 million share of the ransom, also dismissed the conspiratorial theory of an insider’s job.
Uche told The Guardian that his abductors were Fulani, who claimed to be from Sudan, Mali and Niger. Asked if actually the police have arrested any suspect in connection with his abduction, the prelate said: “I don’t know. The police should know that. What I know is that all the people within our area went to the bush to fish out the culprits. I don’t know if any of my people was involved. The person they alleged that hails from my village is from another area in Abia State, I am not from Abia. I am from Imo State.”
He went further to tell The Guardian that: “I am not a small boy. I am almost 70 years, I can’t tell you what I don’t know. Those who took me to the bush are all Fulani. Government is trying to cover up, but they cannot cover up because I have exposed them to the international community. They are uncomfortable with the truth that I said. What I said was the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Where I was kidnapped is not my village.”
The priest continued: “I don’t think it is an insider’s job. I didn’t see any Igbo man among the kidnappers. They are all Fulani boys. In fact, some of them said they are from Sudan, some said they are from Mali, some said they are from Niger and they were eight in number. That is what I know.”
He was kidnapped three weeks ago in Abia State along with two others – the Bishop of Owerri Diocese – and the prelate’s chaplain.
According to Uche, his church paid N100 million in ransom to secure their release.
BESIDES, Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Gumi, has warned the Federal Government and Nigerians against escalating the nation’s security challenges to the Rwandan genocide proportion.
Gumi made the appeal after inauguration of a body, Nomadic Rights Concern, in Kaduna, yesterday, just as he blamed government for deploying military instead of dialogue to resolve banditry and related ills across the federation.
The cleric said the new organisation was established to “address the gap between herdsmen and the larger society.”