Suspected hoodlums have attacked and killed a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in FESTAC Town, in the Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State.
THE PUNCH correspondent gathered that the victim, Pastor Babatunde Dada, was killed inside the RCCG Chapel of Resurrection on 13 Road, 6th Avenue, FESTAC Town. The killing was said to have been perpetrated by two new converts who came to the church for the first time a Sunday before the incident.
The two youths were said to have come out during an altar call and surrendered their lives to Jesus. The church accommodated them on its premises after they claimed to be stranded. They had barely spent a week in the church when they reportedly stabbed the cleric to death.
A senior pastor in the church, Akin Odejare, declined comment on the incident when contacted by PUNCH Metro.
However, the wife of the pastor, Bose, told our correspondent on the phone that she called her husband on the day of the incident and he promised to come home to rest.
She said, “My husband was killed on December 2 at the church. He was the admin/accounts officer, as well as the parish pastor. I was not with him when he was killed, but I was told that they collected money from him. I heard that those who killed him were new converts.”
A family member, who is also a security expert, Mr Abolarinwa Olatunbosun, told our correspondent on Wednesday that the pastor was killed after withdrawing money from a bank.
He said, “The pastor went to a bank to withdraw some money and went to rest on the first floor of the church. Two persons said to be new converts went to meet him upstairs, broke his head and killed him.
“The matter was reported to the police and one of the suspects, who ran to Ilorin, has been arrested.”
Olatunbosun said the killing might be for ritual purposes, adding that the assailants were suspected Internet fraudsters, aka Yahoo boys. The expert said criminals were beginning to attack churches and pastors because they believed there was money in church.
He advised religious centres to be security conscious and put in place strategies that could stop criminals from killing, kidnapping and robbing leaders and worshippers.
A friend of the slain pastor, Fred Enemigin, who is the founder, Highflyers International, Lagos, said in a Facebook post that the pastor was stabbed multiple times. He wrote, “Two boys had come to church last Sunday and they responded to the altar call by giving their lives to Christ. After church service, they waited to see the head pastor and told him that they were stranded without any place to stay.
“On compassionate grounds, the pastor allowed them to stay somewhere within the church premises pending when they would be resettled. Pastor Tunde Dada, who had for almost a decade been the accountant of RCCG Chapel of Resurrection Parish, was assigned to provide needed welfare for the boys until their matter would be sorted.
“On the fateful Thursday, Tunde was seated in his office and the boys targeting that they were alone on the church premises with him, entered his office and attacked him with knives and other sharp weapons. He was stabbed multiple times and places until they had him killed right there on the spot.
“Our minds are still searching for what the rift between the boys and Tunde was considering the fact that the Tunde we knew was a very gentle soul. Could they have asked for more welfare than what was approved for them and Tunde declined? What on earth would warrant this brutal killing by those who were recipients of a server of the church’s benevolence? There are many more questions that we have not found answers to.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Adekunle Ajisebutu, said he had yet to be briefed about the case.