Edem Edem, Calabar
The Living Faith Pastor, Pastor Seyi Adekunle who was kidnapped by hoodlums on Saturday Night (Seven days ago) in his church along IBB Way Calabar while conducting a prayer session with other pastors was on Saturday morning released by his captors. A source in church told our Correspondent that the pastor was taken to the outskirts of Calabar at midnight and was asked to find his way to the church where other pastors were keeping vigil praying of his release. The pastor’s release was confirmed by the chairman of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Pastor Lawrence Ekwok who could not conform if any ransom was paid before the pastor was set free.
He expressed gratitude to God, the police and the media for helping to facilitate the release of the pastor. Mr Hogan Bassey, the Cross River State Police Command Spokesman told our correspondent that two suspects were arrested which led to the release of the pastor. “No ransom was paid but we are on the trail of other accomplices and very soon I will give you more details” Mr. Hogan Bassey said. It would be recalled that gunmen numbering about five were said to have stormed the church at about 7.50 pm Saturday when the pastors were praying in the main auditorium of the church and shot sporadically into the air before grabbing the pastor and bundling him into their car and drove off. “Normally on Saturdays, we have a number of activities but the pastors prayer session comes last, it was while the session was in progress that the boys came in, shot into the air and took our pastor away” a source said.
Pastor Seyi who is the head pastor of the Province two of the Church located along IBB Way, opposite the Margaret Ekpo International Airport according to our source has been in charge of the church since 2014 and has been carrying out massive construction work. “He came here in 2014 and has been doing a lot of work including the construction of a massive complex for the church auditorium and office accommodation which might have given the kidnappers the impression that he has money to give them as ransom”. The captors had earlier demanded Eighty million Naira (N80m) ransoms before release.A source from the Church said the kidnappers had vowed not to release the pastor unless the money is paid. The kidnappers a source also revealed had used the phone of the Pastor to communicate with one Pastor in the Church by 9pm on Monday night where the demand was made. “The people used Pastor Seyi’s phone to speak with one of our pastor’s at about 9 pm on Monday night and allowed him speak to assure us that he is alive before one of them said if we want the pastor back we should give them the sum of 80 million naira”.