Sorrow as hoodlums invade Lagos church, kill pastor

Some hoodlums have caused sorrow in the house of God.

The gang of four stormed the Christ Apostolic Church, Sanctuary of Blessing, in the Iju Ishaga area of Lagos State and stabbed the head of the ministry, Pastor Ibukun Adeyinka.

They, however, did not leave with any property of the church as they immediately scaled the fence of the church and fled.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the 56-year-old was taken to a private hospital from where he was referred to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, where he was pronounced dead.

When our correspondent visited the church on Monday, he observed that two obituary banners had been hung in front of the church.

The cleric’s wife of 20 years, Mrs. Olasunbo Adeyinka, said the hoodlums struck around 3am on May 30, 2017, adding that they did not say anything throughout the period of the attack.

She said, “We were asleep when they entered the church. They came to our house and we didn’t know anything was happening until we heard a sound like something was falling. There was a power outage, so we couldn’t see clearly. My husband was the first to wake up. They broke into the house through the front door.

“They didn’t say anything to us even as we asked what they wanted from us. I just heard my husband shouting, ‘In Jesus name’. I also re-echoed it, saying ‘Amen, in Jesus name.’ I never knew they had stabbed him in the chest.

“They left by scaling the church’s fence. I saw that my husband had become weak. That was when I knew that they had stabbed him. There was a lot of blood in the room.”

She said together with some relatives and church members, Ibukun was rushed to a private hospital in the community, from where the Ile-Ife, Osun State indigene was referred to LASUTH, Ikeja, where he was confirmed dead.

Olasumbo said although she gathered that her husband died around 7am, she was not informed until around 2pm.

Asked if the men were robbers or assassins, the mother of three said she could not tell because the suspects did not say anything.

“They didn’t take anything. Up till now, I can’t say who they are and why they did what they did. He had a lot of ministerial assignments in June, which will now be on hold. It is painful,” she added.

However, a nurse, Amah Eze, who posted about the incident on Facebook, said the hoodlums were absconding after a robbery operation when they took the church as an escape route.

She said, “He was always ringing a bell at 12 midnight for prayers. So humble that whenever he greeted a small girl like me, he always bowed down.  Only for absconding thieves to run into his church while he was praying as usual, and cut him with a machete. That’s how he met his death; but God knows best.”

Our correspondent was told that the case had been reported at the Iju Police Division.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the deceased was a former Coordinator of the Christian Association of Nigeria for the Ifo Local Government Area, Ogun State.

Church members, who spoke with our correspondent, said the deceased was never involved in a fight or business deal with anyone that could have warranted the killing.

A woman, who did not identify herself, said, “Pastor was a peace-loving man. He always warned us against getting involved in business deals with people of questionable character. He would never fight anyone. Instead, if two people are in a disagreement and he had to mediate, he would prostrate for both parties and urge them to embrace peace for the sake of Christ.”

Another church member described the pastor as humble and self-effacing, adding that he usually walked with his head bowed.

Our correspondent sighted tributes written by christian leaders, community elders, friends and family members of the cleric, expressing shock at his death.

A man, who wrote for CAN, Ifo and Agbado councils, said, “A great disaster! How can a great man of God just die like that? It is well, our great general. We love you, but Jesus loves you more.”

One Prophet Adeshina Elijah, said, “You left me untimely, but yet your life created an impact in my life. My daughter, Beulah, whom you named, cried when I told her. Daddy, rest in perfect peace till we meet again.”

A representative of the Ifelodun Landlords and Tenants’ Association described the pastor as a good and God-fearing man, who eschewed evil.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Olarinde Famous-Cole, confirmed the incident, adding that investigation was ongoing to determine the motive behind the killing.

He said, “Some hoodlums gained entrance into the CAC premises and entered into the house of the pastor. They stabbed him in different parts of his body, which made him sustain varying degrees of injury. They immediately ran away by scaling a fence. He died at LASUTH. Investigation is ongoing to unravel the cause of the attack and apprehend the culprits.” Punch

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