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Gunmen Kidnap Winners Chapel Pastor In Calabar

By Ignatius Okpara – Unknown gunmen at the weekend abducted a Senior Resident Pastor of Winners Chapel Church, Mr. Seyi Adekunle, along IBB Way Calabar, the Cross River State capital.

The kidnappers, who stormed the church premises at about 8.00pm, were said to have opened sporadic fire before whisking the cleric away to an unknown destination.

A female source inside the church, reported that members who were present when the gunmen stormed the church were yet to recover from the shock.

She said the situation, threw members of the church, who had gathered at the premises to pray for the success of the Sunday service into confusion, especially as the church is located next to the headquarters of the Airport Division of the Nigeria Police in Calabar.

Our Correspondent learnt that it took the police 30 minutes to arrive at the church after they were contacted for an emergency.

The source who craved anonymity for fear of uncertainty, disclosed that three armed kidnappers entered the church building unnoticed during the prayer session, while a fourth person, who was masked, identified the pastor in the midst of the praying group.

She said Pastor Adekunle was immediately cornered by the abductors and taken away after he was identified, adding “it was likely that the masked person that identified the pastor was familiar with the church.

The source also hinted that the kidnappers had their waiting vehicle parked just by the entrance to the church along the ever-busy IBB Way, directly opposite the Margaret Ekpo International Airport.

According to AFRICAN EXAMINER source, the kidnappers operated for over five minutes before zooming off towards the Goodluck Jonathan Bypass way.

“The kidnappers came in during the normal Saturday prayers around 8pm. A group, which includes the pastor, normally gathers to pray for the next day’s (Sunday) service.

“Three of them were armed while the fourth one, who was not armed, came forward to identify Pastor Ademola to the kidnappers.

“Their vehicle was on standby. I am sure the person that identified the pastor among those praying was an insider; someone who knows the church.

“They walked in quietly when the prayer session was on.”

Another eyewitness said “the police were contacted while the kidnappers were still inside the church, but added that their response was slow.

The eyewitness disclosed that the kidnappers dragged the Pastor to the waiting vehicle outside the dark premises and headed towards the newly constructed Goodluck Jonathan Bypass.

“They wasted some time before they drove towards the Bypass. I am sure if the police had come at the nick of time, they would have been able to rescue the pastor,”

Reacting to the delay allegation, the State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Hogan Bassey, disagreed with the members, saying the police, led by the Divisional Police Officer of the Airport Division, Mr. Asuquo Ebong, stormed the venue immediately the information got to them.

He said: “The police went there as soon as they got the distress call. The DPO was physically there with the team that went there.

“We are seriously trailing the kidnappers and I assure you that the pastor will soon be released,” the PPRO declared.


Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=24031

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