Unknown gunmen believed to be political thugs allegedly working for politicians on Monday stormed the Dunamis Church Anyigba, in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State where some Christians were holding a procession, beat up pastors and abducted three.
The thugs allegedly led by a former council boss in Dekina Local Government were said to have violently disrupted a peaceful prayer walk organised by the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Kogi East chapter to pray for the peace of the country and God’s intervention to stop the current shedding of innocent blood.
The thugs were said to have shot sporadically into the air and went straight to the leader of the Christians group, Bishop David Sanders, beat him up and tore his clothes into shreds until he became unconscious.
Several other church leaders and worshippers were also said to have been beaten to stupor including some women and children while the property of Dunamis Int’l church where the prayer walk was to commence from was vandalised
Three other church leaders including the zonal secretary of the prayer group, Silas Edegbo were later taken away to an unknown destination.
Speaking with newsmen on phone, the resident pastor of Dunamis Int’l church, Ayingba, Samson Ejila expressed sadness that a peaceful Christians’ prayer walk for the country could be so disrupted with so many people sustaining various degree of injuries.
He said 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 approve the rally.
He 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 the person of Ishaq Shuaibu Okolo who is contesting for the chairmanship Election for Dec 12 LG poll that has done this to the Christians
“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 were released in the early hours of Tuesday after they had been thoroughly tortured.
Meanwhile, the State Governor Yahaya Bello has condemned Monday’s attack on Christians.
The Governor in a statement issued on Tuesday by his Chief Press Secretary, Onogwu Muhammed, while condemning the act, assured 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 was a need for every religious organisation to intensify their faith by praying to God for His intervention in the affairs of the country.
He noted that any act capable of truncating peaceful religious gathering is sacrilegious, repugnant and unacceptable.