Ondo Abduction: Violence Under Any Guise against Children is Evil, Says UNICEF
Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has expressed delight over the release of over 50 children abducted against their will in Ondo State.
The UNICEF Nigeria Representative, Mr. Peter Hawkins, in a statement yesterday, described violence against children under any guise as an evil that should not be tolerated.
Hawkins said: “Children should not be targets of violence in whatever guise. Violence against children is condemnable and we call on governments to redouble efforts to protect children against all forms of violence. A society’s health is measured by how it treats its children.”
The police in Ondo State on Friday said that it rescued no fewer than 77 people, mostly children in a case of suspected abduction and hypnosis from the premises of The Whole Bible Deliverance Church in Ondo Town, Ondo West Local Government Area of the state.
This was made known by the Spokesperson of the Ondo State Police Command, SP. Funmilayo Odunlami, who said that the rescue operation was aided by intelligence report that was gathered by Fagun Division, Ondo Town.
According to Odunlami, it was gathered that some children were being harboured at The Whole Bible Believers Church, alias Ondo Church, Valentino area, Ondo Town. She said: “Policemen were sent to the church to invite the pastor and the members of the church on sighting the police attacked them.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that one Pastor Josiah Peter Asumosa, an assistant pastor in the church, told members that rapture will take place in April.
“But later said it has been changed to September, 2022 and told the young members to obey only their parents in the Lord.
“Another family who was also around during the rescue said their daughter, a Part Three student, dropped out of school due to the strange teachings of the pastor and left home in January, 2022 to start living in the church.
“In all, 77 members, including 26 children, eight teenagers and 43 adult members were rescued from the church.”
Odunlami said that the two pastors were in police custody and added that investigation had commenced and the outcome would be made known to the members of the public.