By Simon Utebor
Gunmen have abducted 12 persons, including a pastor of Christ Embassy, Lawrence Ohimare, in Bayelsa State.
The abductors were said to have hijacked a passenger speedboat carrying Ohimare, the pastor of the church’s branch in the Brass area of the state, and 11 others, heading for Yenagoa, the state capital.
The commercial speedboat was said to have taken off from Twon-Brass, en-route the Nembe waterways to Yenagoa about 7am on Monday.
It was learnt that the speedboat was waylaid by the gunmen immediately after the Obama Rice Farm in Nembe and diverted to the Okoroma creek.
A member of the church, Pastor Eriye Tumeni, said information available to him was that the boat took off around 7am from the Twon-Brass jetty, but was hijacked by the gunmen.
He said the 12 passengers on board the speedboat were taken to an unknown destination through Okoroma creeks.
He added that contact with Ohimare had since been cut off since the incident.
He said, “As I am speaking with you, we have yet to hear from the abductors or from the pastor (Ohimare). The wife of the pastor is completely devastated and had to be attended to.
“Since we received the news, I have called the Divisional Police Officer in Nembe, the Bayelsa Commissioner of Police, the JTF Commander and all other relevant security agencies in the state to help us in securing the release of the pastor and the other 11 passengers on board.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Bayelsa State Command, Asinim Bustwat, confirmed the abduction.
Butswat, however, said the command had not been fully briefed on the incident.