Atleast 19 persons were reported to have been kidnapped and a pastor of Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Jeremiah Ibrahim, killed by gunmen that stormed different communities in Niger State.
Some of the communities stormed by the gunmen were Ogu and Tegina in Rafi Local Government Area and Chukuba community in Shiroro council.
It was gathered that the gunmen, who stormed the communities at different hours, were said to have conducted their operations without any hindrances from law enforcement agencies in the state.
The Guild gathered that a group of gunmen attacked Tegina community at about 12:30am on Monday with 16 people abducted after the operation.
As learnt, those that escaped the abduction hid under the bed and ceiling to create a false impression to the gunmen that they had fled their homes.
A resident, who spoke anonymously, added: “When the gunmen entered their room, they spent like 30 minutes and ate almost all the food in the kitchen. Thank God they were not abducted, but 16 persons were kidnapped.”
At Ogu, a resident narrated that the attackers, on arrival, yesterday, shot sporadically into the air, forcing dozens of people to scamper for safety.
They added that the gunmen, after arriving the community on motorcycles, ransacked the community left with valuables available at their disposal.
The residents disclosed that about six persons including four members of one family while the other two were reported to be visitors to the community.
Elsewhere in Shiroro, residents identified Ibrahim, who had since been buried, as a cleric of ECWA serving at the branch of the church in Kuta before he was murdered over the weekend.
A senior official of the church in Minna, who pleaded anonymity, said Pastor Ibrahim had gone to check his farm in Chukuba and decided to visit a colleague who was the resident pastor of Chukuba where he was attacked and killed.
“This is coming barely two weeks after six missionaries of ECWA and the wife of one of them were abducted,” he added.
Confirming the attack on Monday, the Chief of Staff to Rafi LGA Chairman, Mohammed Mohammed, said that the residents were yet to get over the shock even after the gunmen had left.
Efforts to reach the police authorities to confirm the incident proved abortive as the Police Public Relations Officer in Niger, Wasiu Abiodun, did not pick his calls or respond to messages sent to him.