From: Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Some church leaders in Asaba, the Delta State capital, have expressed concern over incessant invasion of churches by suspected hoodlums who cart away valuable properties especially musical instruments.
Raid on churches by bandits has become rampant in the capital city in recent times with over 12 churches falling victim at the last count.
Apart from church properties that are removed in such raids, some worshippers had also lost vehicles during church services.
According to Pastor Andrew Ozobeme of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), the incessant attacks on churches by hoodlums has assumed alarming dimension.
He confirmed that robbers have lately burgled different branches of the church and and stole musical equipment worth millions of naira.
“This attack is happening every day. We are afraid that it will degenerate more than this as many churches have lost their musical instruments to hoodlums.
“You close from today, even very late, the next morning you will be surprised that robbers have broken into the church and removed all the valuables,” Ozobeme said.
While calling on security agencies to redouble their efforts, Ozobeme advised parents to preach the word of God to their children, just as he urged elders to show good example to the younger generation.
Another cleric, Pastor Bethel Onuoha of Potters’ Ark Assembly said it was shameful for robbers to target churches for their criminal acts, adding that though his church was yet to experience it, the act was condemnable.
Also, Pastor Dan Ohanugor of The Great Gospel Ministries confirmed that his church was lately burgled twice, and that musical equipments were carted away.
Ohanugor appealed to those perpetrating the crime to desist from it in order to avoid the wrath of God.
Reacting, Public Relations Officer of the state police command, DSP Andrew Aniamaka assured members of the public of adequate security, adding that the police carry out 24 hours patrol.
Aniamaka however said the issue of security cannot be left in the hands security agencies alone and urged members of the public to do their part by assisting to combat crime.
“All of us must be security conscious. We must report happenings in our areas promptly to the police to serve the public better,” Aniamaka cautioned.
He advised organisations to have internal security arrangement to complement the efforts of the police, adding that police cannot be everywhere at the same time “considering the limited number of policemen that we have in this country.”
The police image maker however stated that the police will never shy away from their duties, and warned hoodlums to desist from attack on individuals and institutions.
“The police will not take this lightly. We are on ground to combat crime, anybody caught will not be spared. We call on members of the public to increase their support for the police and we assure that we will continue to do our best,” he vowed.