Daredevil criminals armed with dangerous weapons such as sticks, sharp objects and cutlasses are terrorising churches located at Suleja Local Government Area of Niger State.
Church members are forced to live in perpetual fear as their church property are no longer safe because of these constant attacks by unknown gangs of criminals.
The latest robbery attack was the Tuesday’s invasion of a Deeper Life Bible Church, Apostolic District, located along Hassan Dalatu Road, Suleja, Niger State, at exactly 2:00pm.
According to report, the gang of criminals vandalised the children’s section of the church, burgled the Pastor’s office, ransacked the entire vestry and made away with Plasma Television worth about N200,000 (Two hundred Thousand Naira Only) and other valuable electrical Equipment.
This robbery attack came few weeks about the same location church was invaded, vandalised and ceiling fans missing.
A member of the church was spoke on condition of anonymity said that the district church has been subjected to series of attack over the years, hence the need to cry out because members now live in constant fear. He recalled that some years back, a security operative employed by the church was beaten by the hoodlums and the church looted. He added that the engagement of Local Vigilante Group to safeguard the church has not yielded any optimum result.
“The church has been under constant attack and vandalization both in the day and night by these bad boys. There was a day the car batteries of the pastor and a member of the church was stolen during night vigil. I can go on and go. Sometimes we are being stoned with sachet of pure during services. This is not the first Plasma TV that has been stolen in this church. Two members were once attacked with knife inside the church by these bad boys. We worship in constant fear here, not knowing when these guys will strike.” he said.
He appealed to the law enforcement agency to act quickly to avoid a repetition of what happened to a 22-year-old lady of the University of Benin, Miss Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, who was gang-raped and clubbed to death by hoodlums inside the Ikpoba Hill branch of Redeemed Christian Church of God, in Benin City, Edo State.
He pleaded with the government authorities to protect the churches in general and ensure the security of lives and properties.
All effort to speak with the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, proved abortive despites repeated visit by out reporter to the station.
A Senior Police Officer, in Suleja Police Station, “A” Division who spoke off camera confirmed that hoodlums have been attacking churches in Suleja lately, and Deeper Life Bible Church was not an exemption. The officer added that most churches during this lockdown have been vandalised. She recalled that a pastor was recently attacked with cutlass.
She appealed to residents to be security conscious and report any suspicious moment to the police, adding that efforts are been made to bring the culprits to book.
When the reporter contacted the Chairman of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, Pastor Paul Emmanuel, he said that no church has officially reported any robbery attack to the union, hence he cannot comment on the issue.
Also, the Executive Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Rev Dike Odimuko, declined to comment on the issue, saying he is out of town.
However, a member of a Local Vigilante group in Suleja Emirate Council who visited the church to inspect the extent of damage said that the vicinity where the church was located has been designated a flash point as a result of constant robbery attack taken place within the area.
He added that the area is a hideout for criminals and hoodlums, saying efforts are been made to flush them out.