By Monday Ijeh
Abuja; Olawale Jokotoye
Abeokuta, Aug. 2, 2019 (NAN)
The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, on Friday morning disclosed that five ministers of the church on their way to the Ministers’ Conference at the Camp were kidnapped on Thursday night.
Adeboye, who said this while speaking at the Church Ministers’ Conference holding at the Redemption Camp in Ogun, Nigeria, appealed to the congregation to pray for the release of the captives.
He had said: “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?”
This is as the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammed Adamu, has deployed detectives from the Force Headquarters to hunt for the killers of Rev. Fr. Paul Offu, a Catholic Priest in Enugu State.
The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), DCP Frank Mba in a statement on Friday in Abuja said the IGP had ordered massive manhunt for the killers of the priest.
The priest, who was shot dead on Aug. 1 by unknown gunmen, was in charge of St. James the Greater Parish Catholic Church, Ugbawka, Enugu state.
The Ogun Police Command on Friday confirmed the kidnapping of the five RCCG Pastors by gunmen at J3/J4 Area, Ogbere, on the Benin-Ijebu-Ode-Sagamu expressway.
The Command’s Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, who made this known while speaking with reporters at the Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Abeokuta, identified the victims as Chidioze Eluwa, Chiemela Iroha, Okoro Ohowukwe, Ndubuizi Owuabueze and Ibeleji Chidinma (female).
Abimbola, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), added the Command’s rescue team are trying to be tactical and professional in storming the location in order not to jeopardise the safety of the victims.
He said the victims, who boarded a commercial vehicle from the Eastern part of the country and were heading to the RCCG’s programme were abducted and taken into the forest.
He stated: “On the 1st of August 2019, at about 3:30 pm, the Ogun state police command received an information that a commercial vehicle with registration number KW 230 XA belonging to Abia line transport company was coming from the Eastern part of the country heading towards Lagos, on getting to J3 area of Ogbere, some hoodlums numbering about 10 suddenly came out of the forest and forcefully stopped the vehicle.
” Five amongst the passengers namely Chidioze Eluwa, Chiemela Iroha, Okoro Ohowukwe, Ndubuizi Owuabueze, and Ibeleji Chidinma (female) were abducted and taken to the forest.
“The Commissioner of Police, CP Bashir Makama, is personally leading the operation to rescue the victims with operatives from the command’s tactical squads combing the entire area.
“The hideout of the hoodlums has been geolocated but our men are trying to be tactical and professional in order not to jeopardize the lives of the victims we are making efforts to rescue.
“With the operation going on presently, we are rest assured that the victims will soon regain their freedom,” he said.
The police spokesman said that the gunmen after forcing the vehicle to a halt, whisked away the four men and a woman into the forest, but left behind the driver, a sick passenger and his wife in the vehicle.
“By the grace of God, we will rescue the victims,” Oyeyemi said.
In his statement, Frank Mba, the FPRO from Abuja, said “Crack detectives from the IGP-Intelligence Response Unit (IRT), the Forensic and Homicide sections of the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) have been deployed to Enugu State.
“The deployment is to complement the Enugu Command of the Force in their investigations into the unfortunate incident.
”In addition, the AIG in charge of Zone 9 Headquarters has been directed to mobilize more units of Police Mobile Force (PMF) personnel to black spots in Enugu State,” he said.
He equally said that intensified operations had commenced for the rescue of RCCG Pastors who were abducted along J3 Area of Ogbere on their way to Lagos from the Eastern part of the Country.
According to him, Tactical and Operational assets of the Force have been deployed with the Commissioner of Police, Ogun State Command taking the lead-role in the search and rescue operations.
He said the IGP, while condemning the killing of the Catholic Priest and the abduction of the clergymen, called for calm and assured that the perpetrators would not go unpunished.
Mba said the IGP urged the public to avail the police with credible information that would assist in apprehending the criminals.