A Prelate’s portentous Prognosis

TNC Reporter

TNC Reporter

The Methodist Church in Nigeria was recently rocked by the abduction of its prelate Samuel Kanu-Uche who was abducted on Sunday May 29,2022 along the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway in the Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State.He was only released after his church coughed out about 100 million naira requested as ransom by his abductors.

As insecurity has continued to hiss and snarl at Nigeria, snatching away vast swathes of the country, churches have found themselves right in the crosshairs of savage criminals. Because many people identify as religious in Nigeria, many such people are affiliated with one denomination or the other. Whether the inclination of Nigerians to identify as religious is true piety or religiosity remains up for debate.

But the criminals let loose upon the country by a host of factors which includes government dereliction are absolutely certain about one thing: that they can target churches, the clergy and their congregants with little or no resistance.

All over the country, the kidnap and killing of priests and pastors have become as commonplace as the fate that continues to befall their congregants. Two catholic priests of the catholic diocese of Sokoto were recently abducted from their rectory along with two boys. This abduction came on the heels of the death in the hands of his abductors of a priest of the catholic diocese of Kaduna after more than a month in captivity.

The cyclone of terror which continues to batter the church in Nigeria undoubtedly caused the Methodist Church in Nigeria to rally around, raise the ransom and   secure the release of their prelate from criminals.

If it was not alarming enough that the abduction of the prelate continued a worrisome trend of a kidnapping for ransom in   the Southeast which until recently was among the safest regions in a country convulsed by insecurity, the prelate`s worrying observations while in captivity should really toll the alarm bells.

Firstly, he identified his assailants as an eight-man gang of Fulani boys who claimed to be against the government. Of the eight, only one understood English while the rest communicated in Fulfude.

Secondly, the prelate observed that military men were around the place where the hoodlums operated, while their cows were also around the vicinity.

Thirdly, the prelate was also told that a macabre museum where seven decapitated bodies were decomposing was not far away from him. For good measure, if he had any doubts, the stench that hung thick in the air dispelled them.

Fourthly, the prelate said the kidnappers told him that Lagos was on their radar. He also called on the government to act immediately while blaming citing the Nigerian Army for its complicity in his ordeal.

In these days when almost every part of Nigeria boils with insecurity, people go out for their daily business and they are abducted. People stay back at home and they are attacked. All over the country, many live in dread of the next moment.

The business of kidnapping for ransom is really booming. In these austere times, few ventures   rake in as much. By the day, suspicion thickens that there are syndicates in Nigeria whose interests include kidnapping for ransom. Because these syndicates have connection in powerful places, they have proven an especially hard nut to crack.

The Nigerian Army has come out to strongly deny the prelates claims that its men were involved in his abduction. However, it should worry the Nigerian Army as much as it should worry any responsible professional body that   the complicity of its men is even in issue at all. It should further worry the Army that its men are frequently mentioned in incidents involving attacks on innocent Nigerians within the country. Are there saboteurs of Nigerias security in the Nigerian army as many suspect?

In these days when Nigeria is going through multiple security challenges, it should worry every Nigerian security agency that  it  has  now become routine for security personnel to  be cited when  innocent Nigerians are  attacked  or when oil theft  in the Niger-Delta region is in issue.It goes without saying that there are many rotten eggs within their ranks.

As for Fulani herdsmen, whether a smear campaign against them is on or not, it should give them sleepless nights that they are almost always mentioned whenever innocent Nigerians are attacked.

Until Nigeria   shores up its security architecture, innocent citizens will continue to serve as targets for criminals of all shades and stripes.

 

Kene Obiezu,

keneobiezu@gmail.com

 

 

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Comments 1

  1. smiler says:

    Nice one.

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