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Kaduna pastor raises alarm over threats to life for preaching against killings, burning of churches

The Pastor of Shining Star Christian Assembly, Kaduna, Michael Ogunyemi, has raised alarm over threats to his life and family for preaching against killings of innocent people and burning of churches.

The cleric was abducted with 11 other clerics from The Redeemed Christian Church of God(RCCG) on March 26, 2021 along Kachia road and spent 30 days before he was released with stern warnings to desist from his preaching.

He ran to Katsina State but narrowly escaped being kidnapped alongside two missionaries in August 2021 while his host, Pastor Husseini Duze, was killed.

Recounting his ordeal, Ogunyemi said: “I was one of the clergies that usually preached against burning of churches, killing of innocent people and kidnapping of pastors in Southern Kaduna and parts of the country. I was advocating that these acts do not develop the country and should be stopped. I was preaching it on the pulpit and in the communities.

“Then I was warned to stop and later I was captured and taken to a village where I was thoroughly beaten and warned never to talk about such things again. But I continued because I wanted peace among us all as loved ones were killed, houses burnt and people were attacked. After the warnings, one day in March this year, we were travelling from Kaduna to a Mission field in Kurmin Gwaza, 24km after Kachia.

“About 56km after Kaduna before we reached Kachia, we realised that our vehicle was being trailed. We were blocked and kidnapped 12 of us with some pastors of Redeemed Church. We were taken to a forest and were all seriously tortured by the kidnappers, 10 of us were released after two weeks but I and one other pastor were not released as they said they were going to kill us.

“They started calling contacts on my phone asking for ransom and as they were calling they were torturing me for the people to hear my cries of pain until my people could no longer bear the pain so they raised about N2 million and paid and I was released after 30 days in the forest with a warning that I should desist from the preachings or me and my family will be killed.

“After this experience, I went to Katsina to hide in a mission base at Kwantakumawa in Kankara local government. One night I heard sound of people approaching. So I quickly stood up and alerted head of the mission, Pastor Husseini Duze and I ran into the bush to hide but he didn’t hide so the people came, kidnapped two missionaries and killed Husseini after a severe beating.

“Since then I became afraid of my life, I cannot sleep in my house, I don’t know where to take refuge. I’m afraid that they would kill me and if they did not get me, they threatened to kill my family. Although I have reported to the police but I’m afraid for my life and the life of my family. I have to hide and disguise anytime I move around but I don’t know for how long I will continue to do that.

“I want to appeal to Federal Government, Kaduna state government and security agencies to assist and protect me and my family because our lives are not safe any longer.

“We are Now living like refugees in our country. There was a day I saw some people resembling some of our kidnappers around Kamazou, I have to run again thinking they are after me to kill me. I’m tired of running.”

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