Nigeria: Gunmen abduct Pastor during church Bible study, demand ransom

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Suspected Muslim Fulani militants in Nigeria have demanded a ransom of 30 million nairas (US$73,600) for the release of Pastor Otamayomi Ogedengbe of Deeper Life Bible Church, whom they abducted at gunpoint from a Bible study at his church building in Akure, Ondo state on May 10, Morning Star News reports.

Confirming the abduction, police spokesman Tee Leo lkoro of the Ondo State Command said in a statement: “Pastor Otamayomi Ogedengbe was abducted by some gunmen who stormed his church and whisked him away. The police command in Ondo state has sent out its personnel and detectives to work towards securing the release of the pastor. We’re optimistic that pastor Ogendengbe will be rescued by our security agents.”

Witnesses to the kidnapping have reported they believe the gunmen were Muslim Fulani herdsmen. Although most clans of Fulani in Nigeria are peaceful Muslims, extremists from this tribe have been killing Christians with impunity for many years now. In a recent report, the United Kingdom’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom or Belief (APPG) said: “[Fulani militant herdsmen] adopt a comparable strategy to Boko Haram and ISWAP [Islamic State West Africa Province] and demonstrate a clear intent to target Christians and potent symbols of Christian identity.” the APPG report states.

Moreover, the APPG points out that Christians are being slaughtered by Fulani militants and that Nigeria’s president is himself a Fulani Muslim.

“In 2015, Muhammadu Buhari, a Fulani, was elected president of Nigeria,” the APPG said in its report. “He has done virtually nothing to address the behavior of his fellow tribesmen in the Middle Belt and in the south of the country.”

Nigeria ranked No. 1 in the world for kidnappings in 2020 and ranks 9 9 on the Open Doors watch list of countries where Christians are persecuted.