THE Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) have condemned the kidnap of the Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Samuel Kanu-Uche.
Kanu-Uche was kidnapped on Sunday along the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway in the Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State.
He was kidnapped alongside another cleric, Dennis Mark, the Methodist Bishop of Owerri and the Prelate’s Chaplain, by unknown gunmen.
Reports say the clerics were on their way from a programme in the Umunneochi Local Government Area.
The National President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Wale Oke, described the incident as a sad development and called for the release of the cleric and the others.
He said, “This is a very shocking event. There is no iota of fear for men of God. Kidnapping an elderly man and a man of God, a principal leader of the Church in Nigeria, is appalling.
“I want to call on the abductors to release His Eminence, Samuel Kanu-Uche, without injury to his person, and they should fear God and release him without touching him in any way. They should let the fear of God guide them.
“I also want to appeal to the government from the Federal Government to states and others not only to ensure the release of His Eminence, Samuel Kanu-Uche, but also others that have been kidnapped. Those Kaduna train kidnappers. We are begging them to release all those with them.”
Also condemning the incident, Bayo Oladeji, the spokesperson for the CAN President, Olasupo Ayokunle, described the Prelate’s abduction as a disappointment for those managing the security architecture of the state and the country.
He decried the state of insecurity in the country and demanded the immediate release of the kidnapped victims, adding that the cleric was on a farewell visit when the incident happened.
He said, “It is another sad commentary, tragedy, disaster and disappointment on the part of those that are managing our security architecture. Nowhere is safe in this country, and we keep asking them to overhaul the security architecture, but they refuse.
“Now, everybody is afraid to travel either by air, road, or water. Nowhere is safe. Here is a great servant of God who has used all his youthful and present years to serve this country through the church. He has been praying for this nation, and he is about to retire.
“Our appeal goes to the government that they should make sure that this great servant of God is released this week. If truly we have a government; if truly our security architecture is functioning; if truly the security architecture of this country has not collapsed, he (and others) must be released.”
Former Governor of Abia State and Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Kalu, also added his voice to the condemnation of the abduction of the Prelate.
Kalu, who described the incident as devastating and evil, urged security agencies to commence robust rescue operations to ensure the safe release of the victims.
Meanwhile, the Spokesman of the Abia State Police Command, Geoffrey Ogbonna, has confirmed the incident and described it as “quite unfortunate”.
He said efforts were on top gear towards rescuing the clerics while soliciting credible information from the public to assist the police.
“The incident is quite unfortunate, and the Abia State Police Command has put in place efforts to ensure that he is rescued alongside others and, where possible, to arrest the people behind this dastardly act,” Ogbonna said.