SUNDAYEXPRESS.CO.LS

Policemen and vigilance groups have been combing bushes around Telemu village along the Iwo-Osogbo Road in search of a Methodist Presbyter, Very Rev. Kayode Akande, and two other church leaders kidnapped on Sunday night by some hoodlums suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.

Some members of the Methodist Cathedral at Isale Aro area in Osogbo told newsmen on Monday that the priest; one Mr. Bankole, who is an engineer and one of the leaders of the church, Mr, Omodunbi, who were kidnapped by some hoodlums had yet to be released by their captors.

One of the church members, who identified himself simply as Tola, told newsmen that security agents, as well as vigilantes, had been combing the area where the trio were abducted but they had not got any clue to their whereabouts as of the time of filing this report.

He said, “The priest and two other persons kidnapped by the suspected herdsmen have not been found. Security agents and vigilantes are still looking for them and we are praying for their release because that is what we can do for now.

“We pray that they would be released without being injured. We are all worried about their safety but we believe that God will protect them wherever they are. Kidnapping should not be allowed to spread to Osun State, security agencies must rise up and we also have to assist them to stop it.”

The Bishop of Methodist Church, Osogbo Diocese, Most Rev. Amos Ogunrinde, when contacted told newsmen that the priest and two church leaders abducted had yet to be released by their captors.

Bishop Ogunrinde said, ”They have not been released but we are praying and we trust God that they would be freed without any hurt.

”The police and vigilantes have been combing the bushes at the spot of the incident and other areas. The families of those in captivity are worried.”

Asked if the abductors had contacted the families of the victims or the church, Ogunrinde said nobody had contacted them yet.

The bishop, who had in an earlier interview with newsmen lamented the destructive activities of herdsmen, said some parts of the church’s farm were destroyed by some herders who grazed their livestock in the farm.

Efforts to speak with the Police Public Relations Officer in Osun State, Mrs. Folasade Odoro, were unsuccessful.

The PPRO did not answer the repeated calls placed across to her telephone nor replied the text message sent to know if the abducted persons had been released.

The priest and seven others were said to be returning to Osogbo on Sunday evening after attending a meeting in respect of the coming Father’s Day celebration when the herdsmen waylaid them and took three of them away.

Five persons were said to have been released and the hoodlums were said to have also left two cars untouched.

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