The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has cried out over the abduction of two of its members sent to deliver ransom to kidnappers keeping the two children of a Kaduna-based bishop hostage.
Recall that Pastor Elisha Numan, the Senior Pastor of the Nagarta Baptist Church in Makeri area of the state and his son Emmanuel, were also kidnapped three weeks ago.
Kaduna CAN Chairman, Rev. Joseph Hayab while speaking in Kaduna, alleged that the kidnappers abducted its members and also failed to release the Bishop’s two children after receiving the ransom.
The kidnappers who demanded N20m, released the Pastor’s son so as to be used as a negotiating contact.
They later reduced the ransom to N7m, threatening to kill Pastor Numan if the money is not paid in three days.
“Rev. Elisha Numan of the Baptist Church, Angwan Makeri, and the two children of one of our bishops in Kaduna are still with their of kidnappers. They were abducted about three weeks ago and are still being held in captivity till date.
“The church and their families are helpless and traumatised. We are once again calling on security agencies to do the needful and help secure the release of our people.
“Rev. Elisha was sick when he was kidnapped and we are afraid for his health. The son of our bishop is just 9 years old.
“He is not strong and mature to go through this ordeal. We are appealing that these innocent people should be released,” Hayab said.
In the statement issued by the CAN chairman, he explained that the victims “were abducted about three weeks ago and are still being held in captivity till date; the church and their families are helpless and traumatized”.
“We are once again calling on security agencies to do the needful and help secure our people. Weeks ago, when CAN cried out against the evil being unleashed on our people by these kidnappers, some funny people, using religious cover, were sponsored to malign and accuse CAN of beating the war drum,” Hayab said.
“Thankfully, every peace loving person knew that they were sponsored to divert attention to the real issues bedevilling the people”, he added.
“The pains of knowing your love one has been captured by kidnappers and you cannot do anything and no one is saying anything or consoling you, is excruciating.”
Reverend Hayab also faulted Kaduna Government’s silence in the wake of the Kidnap of Christians in the State, saying, “how can citizens have faith and trust in their government when they suffer and they are coerced to keep silence?”
He remarked: “Keeping silence will not help to address the problem. When we cry out, we are doing so as a wake up call and also extending invitation to those who share in our pains to join us cry out for justice. We want to appeal to these kidnappers to fear God and release Reverend Elisha Numan and the two children of our Bishop.”
Hayab continued: “Reverend Elisha was sick when he was kidnapped and we are afraid about his health. The son of our Bishop is just 9 years old. He is not strong and mature to go through this torture. We are appealing that these innocent people be release.”
“For those who see the cries of CAN as politics, we forgive them for their ignorance or greed and pray that they will not be ashamed and afraid to cry out when someone close to them becomes a victim”.
This is not the first time a pastor is being kidnapped in Kaduna state, as there have been waves of kidnappings against Christian pastors recently.
Recall that wife of the Anglican Bishop of Ikeduru Diocese, Anuri Maduwuike, was last week kidnapped on her way home from Owerri.
Recall that Living Faith Church Pastor Jeremiah Omolara was attacked and killed while driving with his wife and son in Kaduna state, on the evening of Sunday, August 4th.
Pastor Jeremiah who was the resident pastor of a church located in Romi New Extension, in Kaduna State, was killed along Kaduna-Abuja when gunmen ambushed the family and opened fire on the moving vehicle, instantly killing the pastor. They then captured the wife and took her somewhere else. Their son, who was reportedly in the car with them was able to escape.
Five RCCG pastors were also recently abducted along the Ijebu-Ode axis, Ogun State. on their way to the annual Holy Ghost Convention. According to police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Abimbola Oyeyemi, about 10 hoodlums, intercepted the commercial bus marked KW 230 XA in which the kidnapped victims were travelling from Abia State to Lagos on Thursday, August 1, for the RCCG 2019 ministers’ conference, which always precedes the annual Convention of the church. This incident happened as report of Rev. Paul Offu, a Catholic priest in Enugu State was killed by unknown gunmen.
Nigeria ranks 12th on Open Doors 2019 World Watch list of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.
Pray for the pastors and Christians in Nigeria as they fight through this trying times, that their faith be not discouraged in the face of these persecutions.