Akure, the Ondo State capital particularly Oshinle quarters in the metropolis was in turmoil on Wednesday as irate mob set a church ablaze and killed two persons including a police officer.
The angry mob attacked a church identified as Sotitobire over allegation that the founder of the church kidnapped a one-year-old baby and allegedly buried same inside the church.
Unconfirmed report in the town was that the remains of little Gold Kolawole who went missing over a month ago had been dug out from the church’s altar which the police vehemently denied.
The church known as sotitobire, located in the outskirt of the town had since last month been enmeshed in trouble over alleged abduction of the baby during a programme in the church.
The founder of the church was alleged to be responsible for the incident and he had since been invited by the state Police Command for interrogation.
The parent of the missing baby had continued to express worry over the incident, even as they raised the alarm over the way the state police command handle the matter.
It was learnt that the parent of the missing baby had also petitioned the force headquarters over the development, the outcome of the petition assumably led to the intervention of the DSS.
In the early hours of Wednesday, some irate youths invaded the church and called for the arrest of the church founder.
The irate mob numbering over 100 converged on the church premises and later set it ablaze despite efforts made to curtail them by the police at the scene of the incident.
Many members of the church said to be conducting a special service ran for their lives.
The church auditorium and adjoining houses were razed, propertied looted, while about six vehicles said to belong to the church founder presently in DSS custody were also burnt.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for the state command, Femi Joseph, a Superintendent of Police (SP) who confirmed the incident, said a police officer and a hoodlum were killed during the attack.
According to him “Ondo State Police Command wishes to inform the general public particularly the people of Ondo State that they should disregard the rumours making the rounds that the body of a recently declared missing boy in the state has been exhumed from Sotitobire church in Akure.
” It is most unfortunate that this misleading information spearheaded by a popular TV station has ignited spontaneous reactions from the people leading to wanton destruction of properties and injuries to many.
“The church building was also set ablaze by irate youths. Some of our officers despatched to the scene to contain the situation were pelted with stones with many of them sustaining injuries. Their patrol vehicle was also badly damaged.
” This rejoinder became necessary to disabuse the minds of many Nigerians who might have fallen for these wicked lies and propaganda. The public should also not be hoodwinked by reports that the command has abandoned the investigation of the incident, as the case file is already on the way to the DPP for legal advice,”
The mother of the Baby, Mrs Dupe Kolawole in her What’sapp status said it was not true that the dead body of her child was discovered, but assured that her baby would be seen alive with fervent prayers of everybody.
One of the church members who spoke in confidence said the situation they witnessed Wednesday came as a rude shock, but stressed that truth would prevail.