A pastor with the Evangelical Church Winning All, ECWA, who was kidnapped earlier this month in Nigeria’s central state of Kogi was killed on Tuesday after church members paid a one million naira ransom for his release.
The Rev. David Musa who pastors in the Obajana area, Lokoja Local Government Area, was abducted on Saturday, 11th November 2023 from his farm by armed terrorists, said church member John Emmanuel.
Reporting the incident to Morning Star News via a text message, the Church member wrote “With a heavy heart, I want to inform you that an evil act has taken place. My pastor, Rev. David Musa of ECWA Church, Obajana, who was kidnapped on Saturday, [Nov. 11] while he was in his farm, has been killed by his terrorist captors after they collected the ransom they demanded, kindly pray for the family and the church, the ECWA Obajana Local Church Board, and the ECWA church denomination at large.”
While narrating the incident, to a local news media, Daily Post, a member of the Church identified as Mary, said ” The Pastor went to his farm that ugly day. So, his wife was waiting for him to return home but she didn’t see her husband. When night fell, the wife raised an alarm in which the Church people, including residents of the community, went to his farm to search for him.
“It was then that they discovered that the Pastor had been kidnapped. The abductors got in touch with the family demanding N20,000,000. Since the church and the family could not raise such an amount of money, they pleaded with the kidnappers and they reduced the ransom to 1,000,000.
” The kidnappers insisted that, when they are bringing the money, the church should come along with recharge cards, chicken, and many alcoholic drinks for their consumption. Two of the Church members were sent to deliver the money and the itemize requested by the kidnappers.
“When they got to the kidnapper’s den, they saw our Pastor alive. They now instructed our Pastor and the two other church members who brought the money to start going home. Unfortunately, they later called the Pastor to come back and he did as instructed because he knew that there was no way he could run from their place since his abductors were holding sophisticated weapons.
“When he was coming back to them, they immediately shot at him and he died. That was how they later brought his lifeless body back to Obajana. This incident has thrown the entire Church and the community into mourning.
Nigeria is ranked number six in the 2023 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, its highest ranking ever, up from No. 7 the previous year.
“Militants from the Fulani, Boko Haram, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and others conduct raids on Christian communities, killing, maiming, raping and kidnapping for ransom or sexual slavery,” the WWL report noted. “This year has also seen this violence spill over into the Christian-majority south of the nation. … Nigeria’s government continues to deny this is religious persecution, so violations of Christians’ rights are carried out with impunity.”