Gunmen have kidnapped an Akwa Ibom-based televangelist, John Okoriko.
The gunmen kidnapped the cleric on Tuesday evening when they invaded the headquarters of the church in his village, Ibekwe Akpanya in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area of the state
Mr Okoriko is the president and founder of the Solid Rock Kingdom Church.
Although he lives in Uyo, the state capital, reports say the gunmen kidnapped Mr Okoriko, 74, at about 5 p.m. on Tuesday at the headquarters of the church, called “National Capitol.”
Mr Okoriko’s home is within the ‘National Capitol,’ 42 kilometers from the Uyo.
The cleric reportedly travelled home for a meeting with church members and community leaders when the incident occurred.
After the meeting, he was reportedly preparing to return to Uyo, when the gunmen stormed the church premises and shoot sporadically to scare others away.
The gunmen went away with the pastor through the bush behind the church, which is bordered by a stream.
Linus Ukoenang, a bishop and national secretary of the church, told PREMIUM TIMES that the kidnappers contacted the family of the cleric Wednesday morning demanding a N100 million ransom.
Mr Okoriko’s abduction has drawn wide criticism from members of the public and is the major topic of discussion in many radio stations in the state.
Members of the church and fans of the televangelist have also taken to social media to announce his kidnap and prayed for his safety while in his abductors’ den.
The Akwa Ibom State police spokesperson, Odiko Macdon, did not respond to a request for comment when contacted by this newspaper.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To place an advert here . Call Willie - +2348098788999