“This is no more a country one can be proud of” – CAN laments

Abiodun OBA


The Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence Samuel Kalu Uche has  been released by his abductors along with two others on Monday evening.

Others released along with him are: the Bishop of Owerri, Rt. Rev. Dennis Mark and the Prelate’s Chaplain.

They were kidnapped on Sunday in Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia.

They were abducted while they were on their way from a programme in the council area.

The spokesman, Abia State Police Command, Geoffrey Ogbonna confirmed that Uche had been released by his captors.

Ogbonna said he and others were released on Monday evening, but said the details were not available yet.

Earlier, the kidnappers had demanded N100 million ransom to set the prelate and others free, but it cannot be confirmed if any ransom was paid before their release.

Earlier, the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria, berated the Federal Government for leaving the citizens in a terrible state of insecurity.

In a statement on Monday, CAN made the remark while reacting to the abduction of the Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Samuel Uche and two others on Sunday in Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State along with the Methodist Bishop of Owerri and the Prelate’s Chaplain, Rt. Rev. Dennis Mark, by gunmen.

The statement titled, ‘CAN asks Buhari to order immediate rescue of Methodist Prelate, two others’ was signed by Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, the Special Assistant, Media and Communications, to the President of CAN, Rev. Dr Samson Ayokunle.

CAN further called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to give an order to the security agencies to “free them immediately and stop the incessant abduction of clerics and other innocent Nigerians forthwith”.

The statement read in part, “If a great Servant of God of Uche’s calibre could be kidnapped like a three-year-old baby on a major road without any resistance from the police, it speaks volumes of what our security architecture has become.

“No fewer than 10 clerics have been kidnapped this year alone and none was rescued by the security agencies. In two instances, the victims were killed by their captors, unfortunately!

“This is no more a country one can be proud of. No reasonable government can continue to leave the citizens in a terrible state of insecurity as we are at present. This situation is not good for our nation at all.

“We, once again, call on President Muhammadu Buhari to do all within his powers to get these servants of God released very soon and unhurt.

“This administration must redeem its image of widespread insecurity by bringing sanity to this situation before leaving office.

“To those who are holding these Servants of God, we appeal to them to let go of them because they are not responsible for whatever reasons that made them criminals. We call on Christians and other well-meaning Nigerians to join us in praying for their release immediately.”

Meanwhile, the abductors of the Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence, Rev Samuel Kanu-Uche, and two others from the same church are demanding a sum of N100 million before they could be set free.

According to a statement signed by the Secretary of the Conference and made available to newsmen, The Rt. Revd. (Dr.) Michael O. Akinwale confirmed the demand by the kidnappers and hinted that the church was appealing to parishioners to rise up and help.

“All Archbishops/Bishops, Your Grace/Right Reverence, Grace, Peace, and Love of God be with you and all that is yours Amen. The devastating news of the Abduction of our Prelate, the Bishop of Owerri, and the Prelate’s Chaplain has left everybody in shock.

“This is a period of trial in which the Church must cry out that ‘The Lord that answereth by Fire’ must be our God to destroy all the manipulations of the adversary. Let us all arise and cry out to the Lord!

“As we engage in Prayer Warfare, this serves to notify you that the Abductors have demanded a ransom of N100m.

“In view of the urgency and the dire need to arrest the situation for the safety of our Prelate and other abductees, it has become imperative to seek your URGENT RESPONSE to raise the N100m ransom.

“The Account particulars are: Name: Methodist Church Nigeria. Account Number: 2000041229 Bank: First Bank.

“The safety of the Prelate and other abductees must be of paramount concern to all, and your contributions spiritually and monetarily shall not go unrewarded.

Yours in Present Anguish,

The Rt. Revd. (Dr.) Michael O. Akinwale,
Secretary of Conference”

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