Nigeria: Leading evangelical kidnapped and ransom demanded

A Nigerian evangelical leader has been kidnapped by Fulani gunmen and a ransom demanded, his denomination has claimed.

Rev John Moses, the Christian Education Director at National Headquarters of Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), one of the largest Church denominations in Nigeria with about five million members and more than five thousand local congregations, was captured on Friday evening in central Nigeria.

Members of a Christian family mourn three relatives who were killed by armed Fulani herdsmen in Jos, Plateau state, Nigeria.Reuters

His kidnappers have demanded N100m (£210,212) for his release, general secretary of the ECWA, Yunusa Nmadu, said.

His driver was shot and is receiving treatment at a nearby hospital, Nmadu added.

In a statement he said: 'The kidnappers were seven Fulani boys; they were below 20 years. The incident happened on Friday night between 8 and 9pm.

'Reverend Jen Moses was on his way from Jos to Abuja around Jere-Bwari Road. The kidnappers are demanding N100m ransom,' he added according to Nigeria's Daily Post.

'The vehicle in which he was traveling was also seen on the checkpoint because his driver had a gunshot. The driver was advised to obtain police report before he was treated. I am aware that the incident was reported in a police station somewhere in Bwari Area Council.'

However a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) police spokesperson, Anjuguri Manzah, said he had yet to receive any report on the kidnap.

It comes amid a series of attacks on Christians by Fulani herdsmen with Rev Yunusa Nmadu, head of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) in Nigeria describing the incidents as an 'ethno-religious cleansing'.

He has previously told Christian Today there can be little doubt that Christians are being deliberately targeted and massacred by the Islamist gunmen, some of which have links reaching through to Islamic State.

'These attacks started in 2010, when some Fulani gunman invaded a village in Plateau State and sacked the whole community and killed about 500 people – children, women and men – in one night.

'Usually what they do is come into a commmunity in the night while people are sleeping. A few of the gunmen go into the centre of the village and begin to shoot sporadically. When people wake up they are rounded up, and people who try and run away are killed because they have gunmen stationed on the outskirts of the village.'