3rd August, 2019
PRAY FOR SAFE RETURN OF ABDUCTED PASTORS
Five pastors belonging to the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) were yesterday abducted on the Benin-Shagamu expressway, around the Ogbere axis, Ogun State. They were seized in an Abia Transport Company bus while travelling from the Eastern part of the country to attend a programme at the RCCG camp on Lagos-Ibadan expressway. The Ogun State Police Command identified the five pastors as Chidioze Eluwa, Chiemela Iroha, Okoro Ohowukwe, Ndubuizi Owuabueze and Ibeleji Chidinma, the only female among them.
In a statement circulated among the media on Saturday, 3rd August, 2019, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) called for prayers for the safe return of the victims and for peace and tranquility to return to Nigeria. The statement was signed by the Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
“We are deeply distressed by this ugly development. We empathise with Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the General Overseer of the RCCG. We urge Nigerians to join Pastor Adeboye in prayer for the quick and safe return of the kidnapped pastors.
“Our appeal for prayers is to all Nigerians regardless of religion or tribe. We are one from Adam and Adam was from ordinary sand. It must be humanity first. Let us unite in prayers. A nation that prays together stays together.
“In particular, we beseech Nigerian Muslims who are currently on hajj (pilgrimage) to add the safe return of the five pastors to their prayer points. We appeal to those among them who are already in Makkah to perform a special tawaf (circumambulation of the Ka’abah) and Sa‘y to ask Almighty Allah to intervene in the plight of the pastors. Those who are still in Madinah are urged to offer two rak‘ahs each at the Prophet’s (SAW) mosque for the same purpose.
“In addition, we call on all Muslim Asalatu groups throughout Nigeria to dedicate time to special prayers for the five pastors during their Asalatu sessions tomorrow Sunday 4th August, 2019. They should please pray to Allah to stop the spate of criminality in our country.
“This is not the time for blame game. Those who concentrate on blaming government and the security agencies are chasing shadows. They have missed the substance. The reality is that security is the responsibility of all of us. These kidnappers grew up in some families. This is indubitable evidence of the collapse of family values. Greed has supplanted self-satisfaction and immorality has displaced self-discipline in our homes.
“In our concluding remarks, we affirm that our hearts go to the families of the abducted pastors. We are deeply saddened. We share their fears and trepidations. Nonetheless, we appeal to them all to take heart and to be strong in faith. We are with them every inch of the way. They must not lose hope as the nation prays for them. We are confident that the five pastors will return home unhurt.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)