Easter: Bloodletting Getting Out Of Hand -Cleric …As Gunmen Kidnap Eight Women, One Other In Niger

Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike (right), inaugurating the Committee on Thanksgiving, Four-Year Anniversary and Inauguration of the Governor for Second Term at Government House, Port Harcourt, recently.

The Anglican Bishop of Awka Diocese, Rt Rev. Alexander Ibezim, has reminded government, both at the federal and state levels that they owe Nigerians the duty of protecting their lives and properties.
The bishop said this during his Easter sermon, in the Anambra State capital, yesterday.
Ibezim, who was making reference to news of countless killings, both by Boko Haram insurgents and armed bandits masquerading as Fulani herdsmen, said that the level of bloodletting in the country was getting out of hand.
He said urgent steps needed to be taken by both the state governors and President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the reckless killings in Nigeria, insisting that Nigeria leaders would account for every single drop of blood spilled, as God would seek vengeance.
Ibezim said, “Blood of human beings is sacred and was not created by God to be wasted like fowls as done daily in Nigeria”.
However, the Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Dr Samuel Chukwuemeka Kanu Uche, and the Archbishop of Lagos, Dr. Isaac Ayobami Olawuyi, in their Easter messages, passionately pleaded with Nigerians and the Christian community, to be extremely tolerant, loving and accommodating in order to alleviate the suffering and the challenges of others in a bid to making life peaceful and constructively better for the society.
Using Jesus Christ as an example, especially His death on the Cross, which they respectively pointed was an extreme sacrifice to mankind, the clerics charged the leaders in authority to be role models through their sacrificial service, rather than lining their pockets with the fruits of corruption, which has resulted in obsolete socio-economic infrastructure and the incessant insecurity that has enveloped the nation.
Also, the Catholic Bishop of Lafia Diocese in Nasarawa State, Most Rev. Matthew Audu, has called on Christians to strive to save lives and not join in destroying them.
The bishop made the call in an interview with newsmen, yesterday, in Lafia, after celebrating the Easter mass.
He said that the call was imperative given the rate at which some Nigerians were taking the lives of fellow human beings.
Audu said that nobody had the right to take the life of another.
According to him, people should make sacrifice for people who are in need just as Jesus Christ did for the salvation of mankind.
The cleric said that there was need for Christians to make sacrifices for people who were in need just as Christ died for the salvation of mankind.
The bishop noted that insecurity in the country called for serious prayers for God’s intervention.
He, therefore, admonished perpetrators of criminality in the country to desist or face the wrath of God.
Similarly, a missionary with the Kuje Zonal Headquarters of Foursquare Gospel Church, Pastor Isaac Tejabo, has said that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a manifestation of the prophecy of God.
Tejabo said this, yesterday in Kuje during a sermon titled “the Stone is Rolled Away” to mark the Easter celebration.
He said that the rolling of stone on the grave was to prevent the body of Christ from being taken away after being buried.
The cleric said the stone was an attempt by man to frustrate the purpose of God after an earlier prophecy that He would rise again after death.
According to him, the stone represents man’s inadequate understanding of the power of God and the fact that God has the final say in the affairs of men.
He, therefore, urged Christians to always seek for the face of God in times of trouble and learn not to rely on self wisdom.
“They rolled the stone on the grave to stop His resurrection, thinking they are wiser than God, but when the time came, it was rolled away and Jesus resurrected.
“The stone was not only rolled away, it was recorded that an angel sat on it, waiting for the manifestation of the prophecy of God.
“The hope of Christians today is that Jesus resurrected. We must learn to trust in God, allow Him to prevail in our situations and stop the use of human strength,” he said.
The cleric said the resurrection of Christ was a clear demonstration of the fact that nobody could stop God when it was time for him to act.
He, therefore, urged Christians to be patient, adding that no time was late for God, as His time is not the time of man.
Meanwhile, gunmen have kidnapped eight women and a man in their residence in Kuchi community in Munya Local Government Area of Niger State.
A community leader, Alhaji Salisu Afakallah, told newsmen, in Minna, yesterday, that the abducted women were nursing mothers and wives of his younger brothers, while the man is a cousin.
According to him, the gunmen, who he said were many, had forced the gate of the family house open at about 11:30pm, and rounded up everyone in the house.
Afakallah said some of the family members had assembled for a wedding nearby, adding that the assailants took advantage of the ceremony to carry out the raid.
He said the gunmen had lined up the women during the attack, while also shooting two male relations who, according to him, were currently receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital in the LGA.
The assailants, he also explained, killed a villager they encountered on the way out of the community after the raid.
“They called on Friday to demand for N800million ransom as condition for releasing those abducted,” he told our source in a telephone interview.
Afakallah said the family has no means of raising the amount demanded by the abductors, noting that “all our efforts to beat down the amount have proved abortive”.
According to him, the concern of the family members and the entire community was the little children in captivity.
“Some of the children are barely two months old, we don’t know the situation which they are in, and we are very worried,” he lamented.
Afakallah said although the combined team of military and police personnel were deployed to the area, last Friday, no appreciable progress has been made in the rescue mission so far.
He appealed to the Niger State Government to intervene by ensuring the release of those in captivity as there was no way the family members can raise the ransom money demanded by the gunmen.
The Acting Chairman of the council, Mr Joshua Musa, confirmed the development but said security operatives were on top of the situation.
He said from the security reports available to him, all the abducted persons were women, while one person was shot during the attack.
The state Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Abubakar Dan-Inna, said he was yet to be briefed of the development, while promising to reach out when he gets the details.
However, a yet to be ascertained number of persons travelling in five different vehicles are feared missing after they were reportedly abducted by gunmen along the Birnin Gwari – Kaduna Road at about 5:00pm, last Saturday.
The gunmen were said to have stopped the vehicles at different times between 4pm and 5pm, at a point near Ladi village, and led all the passengers and drivers into the bush.
A resident of Birnin Gwari, who gave his name as Salihu, said the five vehicles, two Golf cars, two Toyota Salon and a Sienna van, were parked by the road around Ladi village.
“We are not certain how many people were in the cars but since they are mainly commercial vehicles, we assume they must contain no less than four people each,” he said.
The Kaduna State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Yakubu Sabo, when contacted, said the police were yet to receive the report but added that he “will find out if it is true.”
It would be recalled that the Birnin Gwari – Kaduna road has been terrorised by armed bandits for long but criminal activities on the route went down for some time only for it to resume in the last one week.