increasing wave of violent crimes across the land raised its ugly head
again two weeks ago in Benue state when the highly revered Rev’d Fr.
John Adeyi was kidnapped along the Highway, on his way from Okpoga to
Otukpa, and taken to an unknown destination by equally unknown men.
first news of this ugly incident came from Prince Yemi Itodo, publisher
and Editor-in-Chief of Daybreak Newspapers, who posted it on his
Facebook page and later followed up with an update on the ransom demand
by the kidnappers. Curiously, however, Mr Itodo later posted that he has
been asked to discontinue any update on the matter by people whom he
would not name.
They even went further to ask him to pull down his
earlier posts, and, for the Yemi that I’ve come to know to oblige this
request, it must mean that those behind it must be powerful people in
the society, most likely from the security establishment.
must have been behind such an order, what Prince Itodo did was an act
of cowardice that has rubbed off on all of us as the hours have now
become days, and days have now rolled into weeks; without a single hint
about Fr. Adeyi’s whereabouts. Worse still is that we manage to,
individually and collectively, sleep and wake up as if nothing has
Fr. John Adeyi is an avant-garde trailblazer. As the first person to
venture into Catholic Priesthood from Otukpa, Fr. Adeyi became a
household name in Idomaland during his Priestly Ordination when the
Legendary Idoma Gospel Singer, Peter Owoicho Otulu, dedicated a track in
one of his albums to his strides. A simple man of very humble
disposition, Fr. Adeyi is the kind that cannot hurt a fly, either by
physical disposition or spiritual orientation, it will, therefore, be a
surprise if there is any other motive behind this criminal act other
than monetary gain; which, in any case, would be least likely because
the reverend gentleman cannot even be counted among the rich or wealthy.
the foregoing, a few questions readily come to mind: are there no
authorities and agencies constituted with the duty of maintenance of
lives and property or the management of security and protection of
citizens? Are there no documented channels of reporting incidences such
as kidnaps and molestations or blackmails and threats? If such exist and
if reports have been deposed to, what actions, therefore, have the
responsible agencies taken?
Rev’d Father John Adeyi’s continued detention by his abductors weeks
after the incident was reported to the Benue State Command of the
Nigerian Police Force, one posits that somebody must be Responsible,
some other unit be Accountable, yet another agency being Consulted and
we, the People must be Informed on activities and actions being
undertaken to secure the release of the reverend clergyman. By
extension, it must either be deduced or inferred that his continued
detention implies failure, either by commission or omission; by
collusion or abnegation or dereliction of said duties by Security
Personnel and Key Stakeholders in the Security Architecture of both the
State and Federal Governments.
We must not allow Rev’d Fr. John Adeyi to go the way of the Chibok Girls!
do believe it is time for a conscience call to all and sundry; a call
to the Inspector General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, before he accuses
us of exaggeration again, to investigate and facilitate the release of
Fr. Adeyi by any means possible and reunite him with his family and
community without further delay.
DSS, the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army (that superintends the 72
Brigade Command in Benue), the State Government that specialises in
sloganeering, Benue Traditional Leaders, Local Chiefs and all men of
good will must join their hands together to make sure that Fr. Adeyi is
released by his captors unhurt.
quite unfortunate that the Conference of Catholic Bishops will go and
share a cup of tea at the Presidential Villa with the President and
Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, H.E. Muhammadu Buhari at a time
that an integral member of the Clergy, Fr Adeyi, remains in the
Kidnappers den and will not extract a single word of commitment from Mr
President about accelerating his release, if at all his case was
perhaps if Rev’d Fr Adeyi’s abductors are chanced to read this
write-up, I implore them to release this innocent man of faith
unconditionally to avoid the judgement of the Almighty God.
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