Gunmen kidnap Pastor, 3 church members in Niger

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Some daredevil gunmen have kidnapped the Pastor of Kauna Baptist Church in Danazunmi near Grigori in Rafi Local Government Council of Niger state, Rev. Genesis Zaka and three other members of the church.
The incident is coming barely two weeks after a similar attack which led to the killing of three people among them a woman and her daughter, eight others were kidnapped by the bandits who it was also gathered seized Jerry cans of petrol valued at N80, 000 as ransom.
The three other female members; Tabitha Luka, Liatu Nuhu and Rahila Luka, our correspondent gathered were said to have been abducted by the gunmen who invaded their church during Sunday morning service.
Eye witness account indicated that during the service, the armed men came out unchallenged and surrounded the church in their large number on motorcycles and many of the worshippers scampered for safety into the nearby bush.
In the panic that followed, the pastor of the church and three female church members were kidnapped and taken away by the gunmen.
The source further hinted that the armed bandits contacted the church Secretary Monday morning and demanded N30 million as ransom before the four church members would be released to them.
Our correspondent further learned that the church reportedly pleaded that they could only raise N40, 000 which the gunmen reportedly rejected but promised to get back to the church after due consultations.
When contacted, one of the officials of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Rafi local government area who did not want his name mentioned, confirmed the kidnap of a pastor and three of his church members.
The CAN official stated that he has also informed the Rafi Local Government Council Chairmen, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and the state CAN chairman, Rev. Matthias Echioda about the development.
When asked what efforts they were making to secure the release of the victims the man said: “We have been on intensive prayer and fasting for God’s intervention. God will touch the hearts of the kidnappers to release them unhurt”.
Meanwhile, efforts to get the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Niger State command, Mohammad Abubarkar Dan-Inna proved abortive.
Niger state chairman of the CAN, Rev. Echioda could also not be reached for comments on the incident.

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