Pastor shot and the killers demand five million Naira ransom for his wife
Reverend Hosea M. Akuchi Pastor of Nasara Baptist Church, at Guguwa village in Rigasa, Kaduna, Central Nigeria, was shot and killed, in what looks like a targeted attack, shortly after midnight on monday 20 August, and his wife, Talatu Akuchi, was kidnapped by the killers.
Deputy Superintendent of Police. Yakubu Sabo of the Kaduna State Police Command said the “armed men stormed the house of Reverend Hosea and attempted to kidnap him but was shot dead while struggling with them and his wife was taken away.”
The pastor’s brother, Galadima Makeri, has however said the killers called the family the next day, Tuesday, and demanded for five million Naira, (about £10,000) as ransom for Talatu.
“When they called, they asked if the Pastor was still alive, and we told them he was dead and told them we have been able to raise N100,000, (about £200) but they rejected and promised to call back after prayer which was yesterday (Tuesday 21 August) and ever since the last call, they’ve not called again.” Galadima said and prayed “for God to touch the hearts of her abductors to release her unhurt, we are patiently waiting for their calls on the next line of action.”
Two days earlier, in another incident on Saturday 19 August, a Catholic priest, Michael Akawu, assistant Parish Priest at Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Parish Dobi, was shot and killed in Gwagwalada, near Abuja, Nigeria’s capital at a supermarket in a circumstance explained as ‘armed robbery” though nothing was reported taken away from the priest.
Abuja Police Commissioner, Ciroma directed the police to “unearth the immediate and remote causes of the incident.”
The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, on Wednesday 22, said the security situation in the country is “reprehensible, unacceptable and condemnable.” In a statement condemning the killing of the pastors.
Rev. Samson Ayokunle, President of the Christian body, CAN, said security agencies must “do whatever it takes to bring the culprits to book and rescue the widow of the late Rev Akuchi as soon as practicable.” The christian body demanded the police to “be more pro-active and invest more on intelligence gathering with a view to preventing many of these crimes that are being committed… undetected.”
Ayokunle said the Church is disappointment with “the state of insecurity in the country. Nowhere is safe and secured, as terrorists, rampaging Fulani herdsmen, killer bandits, armed robbers, kidnappers and other hoodlums are operating unchecked while our security agencies seemed busy with elections.”
Nigeria has been described as one of the most dangerous country for Christians to live.
Hassan John is West Africa Editor, GCN and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos.