Etim Ekpimah, Uyo
ADUCTORS of Mr. Akpan Udoneke, the Area Superintendent of The Apostolic Church, Ikot-Akoa Idem in the Ukanafun Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, have demanded a ransom of N10m for his release.
The kidnappers were said to have reached out to the family of their victim and the church authorities on Tuesday through telephone calls.
Efforts to reach the authorities of the church to speak on the issue failed, but a family source, who pleaded not to be named, told Southern City News that the kidnappers had already called the family and elders of the church to make known their demands.
“The kidnappers of Pastor Akpan Udoneke called in the early hours of Tuesday to demand N10m ransom for his release,” he said.
Udoneke was kidnapped around 5am on Monday while preparing for women’s fellowship prayer meeting in the church.
But the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. Macdona Ogeche, said the police were not aware of any ransom placed on the family for the release of the cleric.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi, has banned all forms of cult activities in the state.
Speaking during a meeting with all the village chairmen on Tuesday, Ogunjemilusi gave the hoodlums a 21-day ultimatum to surrender all the firearms in their possession or face the full wrath of the law.
Lamenting the menace of cultism in the state, Ogunjemilusi said the command would not fold its arms and allow few individuals to disrupt the peace and brotherly coexistence in Akwa Ibom.
“I spoke with the youths on the need to think of the prosperous future, to think of how they can use their youthful energy for productive ventures, not for crime.
“Without peace and security, we cannot get anything done. Where there is crime or fear of crime, nothing moves, businesses are gone. People are afraid to come and invest in your community.
“I find out that in Akwa Ibom State, we are mostly Christians. At least, 90 per cent are Christians, but we also know that it is not a secret that over 60 or 70 per cent are involved in cultism.”
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