Panic As Gunmen Kidnap Pastor After Service

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Some residents of Winners Estate in the Adamo, Ikorodu area of Lagos State have vacated their houses after two persons were kidnapped by gunmen in quick succession in the area.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the first victim, a pastor, identified only as Patrick, was kidnapped after a house fellowship.

The gunmen, who were reportedly five in number, took Patrick away in their canoe, while the second victim was kidnapped during an inspection of his construction site.

Our correspondent gathered that Patrick was kidnapped on Saturday, May 21, at about 6.25pm.

It was learnt that the gunmen stormed Patrick’s apartment, where a house fellowship had just ended and attempted to take him away in his car.

However, when the vehicle did not start, they took him away in a canoe.

The matter was reported at the Imota Police Division.

It was gathered that four days later, the kidnappers released Patrick after collecting an undisclosed ransom, and picked their second victim on the same day.

Our correspondent was told that the estate residents had written to the state House of Assembly, requesting that security be beefed up in the area.

When PUNCH Metro visited the estate on Saturday, a resident was seen driving out with his belongings and family members.

A woman, who gave her name only as Abimbola, said the resident was fleeing after a rumour of an imminent attack on the estate started to spread.

She said, “Patrick’s kidnap was the first in the estate. Our estate is surrounded by water. The water flows to Mowo Kekere and Ijede, Ikorodu areas. Patrick had just finished coordinating a house fellowship at his apartment.

“He wanted to start his car and go out when the gunmen struck. They had been lurking in a bush opposite his apartment. They took him away in their canoe. The matter caused a lot of panic.

“It was four days later that the man was released after his family paid a ransom. The pastor has left the estate since the incident.

“The gunmen have informants. They have sophisticated weapons. We are praying that development should come to the estate, but with these attacks, development will be far from us.

“The gunmen still came last Tuesday. They were shooting sporadically. Everyone quickly shut their doors. That has been the situation around here.”

A bricklayer, who declined to mention his name, said, “I left the estate on the day of the shooting. I just came back today (Saturday). A police station is supposed to be around here. The one the authorities started building in neighbouring Agunfoye area, has not been completed.”

The Chairman of the estate Community Development Association, Tunji Balogun, said they had written to a member of the state House of Assembly representing the area, adding that the government should constitute a task force to monitor the waters around the estate and apprehend the kidnappers.

He said, “It is true that one of our residents was kidnapped. He was blindfolded and taken to the waterside.

“On May 24 when he was released, another man in Agunfoye was picked up. He has also been released.

“We have written to the member of the state House of Assembly representing Ikorodu.

“The gunshots on Tuesday were believed to be from the same kidnappers. There should be a task force to monitor this area and ensure that residents live in peace.”

Our correspondent observed that some houses in the estate had been deserted and locked up by their owners.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, had yet to reply a text message sent to her phone on the matter.

Punch

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