From Noah Ocheni, Lokoja
It was a traumatic day for some Christian worshippers on Monday in Anyigba when some armed thugs stormed Dunamis International church Anyigba in Dekina Local government area of Kogi state, stripped the pastor naked after beating him to stupor and abducted two worshippers.
The thugs were allegedly led
by the former Dekina council boss and the local government chairmanship candidate of the All Progressive Congress, (APC), Ishaq Shuaibu Okolo, who violently disrupted a peaceful prayer walk organised by the Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN) Kogi east chapter.
The Objective of the programme, according to the organisers was to pray for the peace of the country and God’s intervention on the killing, rapes and kidnapping in the land.
The thugs were said to have shot sporadically into the air and went straight to the leader of Christians group, Bishop David Sanders, tore his clothes,beat him to comma.
Our correspondent gathered that other church leaders and worshippers were allegedly beaten to stupor including some women and children while the property of Dunamis Int’l church where the prayer walk was to commenced were vandalised.
Speaking with newsmen on phone, the resident pastor of Dunamis Int’l church, Anyigba, Samson Ejila expressed sadness that a peaceful Christians’ prayer walk for the country could be so disrupted with so many people securing various degree of injuries.
According to him, the organisers of the programme took permission from the appropriate authorities including the police with the knowledge of the state deputy governor, Edward Onoja who gave them the go ahead, but wondered why a prominent political player in the area could lead armed thugs to disrupt an armless group.
In his words: “We are surprised that it is a past LG boss in person of Ishaq Shuaibu Okolo who is contesting for the chairmanship Election for Dec 12 Local council poll that has done this to the Christians in the state.
” This is not rumours, he was the one that physically led the thugs including some Vigilante members to attack us, we have every document including video clips, and so he can not deny this” he added
Ejila, however, confirmed that the three abducted members, including the zonal secretary of the prayer group, Silas Edegbo who were abducted were released in the early hours of Tuesday after tortured.
Meanwhile, the State Governor Yahaya Bello has condemned the attack on the Christians who were on a peaceful prayer walk in Anyigba area .
The Governor in a statement issued on Tuesday by his Chief Press Secretary, Onogwu Muhammed, while condemning the act, assures that perpetrators of such unholy act will be fished out to face the full weight of the law.
Bello said at a time the nation is facing unrest and disturbance, there is need for every religion organisation to intensify their faith by praying to God for His intervention in the affairs of the country, noting that any act capable of truncating peaceful religious gathering is sacrilegious, repugnant and unacceptable.
However, an attempts to get the reaction of the APC flag bearer, Shuaibu Okolo proved abortive as several calls to his cell phone were not responded to.