The police have deepened their search for a Lagos pastor who was abducted some few days ago while returning from a trip to Anambra State, southeast Nigeria.
Prophet Chris Okafor, head of the Mountain of Liberation and Miracle Ministries, in Ojodu, Lagos was held by kidnappers around Awka, after he rounded off a five-day crusade in the Anambra State capital.
The pastor’s security escort, who tried to fend off the criminals was reportedly shot and killed in a crossfire. The SUV in which they were riding was riddled with bullets but the pastor was unhurt.
The kidnappers were said to have later demanded a N50 million ransom payment before the pastor could be freed, according to a church member.
“This is the second week since our pastor was taken away and everyone is now afraid for his life. We just hope that God will touch their (kidnappers’) heart to know that they are holding an innocent person,” the member, an okada (commercial motorcycle) rider volunteered last night.
After entreaties to Pastor Okafor’s abductors to release him failed, the church’s leaders were said to have raised and offered the kidnappers a part of the ransom demand.
They reportedly collected the undisclosed sum but insisted on the complete sum before the prophet could be released.
This morning when a visit was made to the church, no official of the church would confirm the pastor’s whereabouts. One of the two guards met at the gate merely said the pastor travelled and couldn’t say when he would return.
But the Anambra State Police spokesman, Emeka Chukwuemeka confirmed the incident. He said the command was combing every part of the state to seek out the pastor and arrest his abductors.
Chukwuemeka also said the Anambra State Police Command was liaising with the police in neighbouring states, in case the kidnappers might have crossed over there.
This morning, during a service at the church premises on Oshofisan Street, in the Ojodu area, a handful of members interceded for the safe return of their spiritual leader.
The pastor is a regular face on a Christian TV programme, Hour of Liberation, aired in Lagos, where he preaches and intercedes for listeners.
His church, better known as Liberation City, which marked its eighth anniversary last December, is popular with miracle-seeking Lagosians, some of them well-to-do individuals.
Its Sunday service and weekly deliverance service is usually packed with a horde of worshippers.
Source PM News