ARMED kidnappers have abducted another Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) clergyman Pastor John Egla in the Nasarawa State capital Lafia in what is now becoming a growing phenomenon.
Over recent years, kidnapping has become big business in Nigeria with victims asked to text their families, who must in turn transfer large sums to the kidnappers before they are released. Of late, clergymen, especially from the wealthy RCCG church have increasingly become victims, as the kidnappers realise this is a cash cow to be milked.
In August, a deaconess of the church based in Abia state was abducted at Ogbere, near Ijebu-Ode while travelling to the headquarters of the church for the holy ghost service. Her abduction, along with that of four other persons created a national uproar but it has not deterred the kidnappers.
Nansel Ramhan, a spokesman for the Nasarawa State Police Command, said Pastor Egla was abducted in his house in Shabu community on the outskirts of Lafia. He said that the divisional police officer of the Shabu Police Division reported hearing sporadic gunshots at about 1.16 am and on reaching the location, the police team discovered that the gunmen had abducted the pastor, who was with his family.
Mr Ramhan said the police found six empty shells of AK 47 ammunition at the scene of the abduction and have since deployed a team to rescue Pastor Egla. Pastor Falaye Omoniyi, a senior pastor with the RCCG, who corroborated the incident, said that Pastor Egla was the pastor in charge of the Oasis of Life Parish of the church’s Nasarawa Province Two.
Pastor Omoniyi said Pastor Egla’s wife and members of his family were traumatised by the incident, although nobody was hurt during the operation. He appealed to security operatives to expedite action to rescue the pastor.