Okerafor Athanatius, Jalingo
Reverend Silas Istifanus of the United Methodist Church in Nigeria (UMCN), Sibre, Ardo Kola Local Government Area of Taraba State, kidnapped by unknown gun men in his residence has regained his freedom.
Leader of the Southern Conference of UMCN, Rev. Philip Micah Dopah announced this while briefing newsmen in Jalingo, the State capital.
Rev. Micah Dopah, who doubles as the Director, Connectional Ministries, Southern Conference of UMCN disclosed that Rev. Istifanus was set free by his Adopters after paying about one million naira ransom.
He said the Kidnappers initially demanded the sum of N15 million before they could effect the Pastor’s release but later accepted about N1 million offered to them.
Rev. Dopah who regretted the loss of one life among the Villagers who was shut by the gun men while trying to rescue Rev. Istifanus from the hands of the Kidnappers further lauded the efforts of the people that led to his release.
“When he was trapped by the hoodlums, the Villagers were notified through phone call, who gathered immediately.
“They really tried to rescue the Pastor but because the hoodlums have sophisticated weapons, they shut one of them, he died instantly which led to the withdrawal of others”, he said.
On getting the information, Rev. Philip Micah Dopah, who is also the Taraba State Chairman, ECWA TEKAN Bloc, said he immediately communicated the Commissioner of Police, the Director, State Security Services and some men of God through text messages.
Condemning the spate of kidnapping across the Country, Taraba State in particular, the Clergy called on Security Agencies to maintain high level of professionalism.
Confirming the incidence, the Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO) of the Taraba State Police Command, ASP David Missal told our Correspondent through a telephone interview that the Police is working round the clock to apprehend the Criminals.