The Nasarawa State Police Command has confirmed the abduction of Mr John Egla, a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Lafia.
The abduction, a recurring decimal now in almost all parts of the country, comes as abductors of nine persons in Pegi community in Kuje Area Council of Abuja are said to be demanding between three million and N10 million per head for each of their victims.
It has also led to the early shutting down of shops and stores in the sleepy community about 30 kilometers off the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Way that leads to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Way. Residents now live in fear and keep off the streets after 7.00 p.m.
In a statement, the Police Command of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja says it is making concerted efforts to rescue the abducted persons that include a 12 years old boy and his father.
They were abducted around 9.00 p.m. by men said to be wearing military camouflage uniforms and numbering about 20. A similar abduction of three took place in the same community last December, according to media reports.
In a statement by DSP Anjuguri Manzah, Police Public Relations Officer in Abuja, the Police say though details of the incident are still sketchy, the Abuja Command urges members of the public to be calm while they intensify effort to rescue and reunite victims with members of their families.
“Meanwhile, we call on the public to be security conscious and provide information to the Police and other relevant security agencies on suspicious movements and activities within their communities.
“The Command reassures members of the public of its commitment to protect lives and property in the Federal Capital Territory, ” the statement added.
In Nasarawa, the Police spokesman, Nansel Ramhan, confirmed the kidnap of the RCCG pastor in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Lafia.
Ramhan said that Egla was abducted at his residence in Shabu community on the outskirts of Lafia, the capital of Nasarawa State in North Central Nigeria.
The spokesman said that the divisional police officer of the Shabu Police Division reported hearing sporadic gunshots at about 1:16 a.m. on Wednesday.
He explained that on reaching the location, the police team discovered that the gunmen had abducted the pastor, who was with his family.
Ramhan said the police found six empty shells of AK 47 ammunition at the scene of the abduction and that the police had deployed a team to rescue Egla.
A Senior Pastor with the RCCG, Mr Falaye Omoniyi, who corroborated the incident, said that Egla was the pastor in charge of the Oasis of Life Parish of the church’s Nasarawa Province 2.
Omoniyi said that the wife and members of the abducted pastor’s family had been traumatized by the incident, although nobody was hurt during the operation.
He appealed to security operatives to expedite action to rescue the pastor.