For the ten days the Bishop of the Lagos Central Diocese of the African Church, Rt. Rev. Gabriel Adebanjo, was in captivity of kidnappers in Delta State, he was fed only Garri (cassava flakes) and water.
Punch Newspaper was told by church officials that by the time he was released, he was taken to a hospital for check-up but that he had become so weak that the doctors advised he be hospitalised in Warri, the Delta State capital.
It was learnt that he has since been stabilised but he has not yet been able to recount all that occurred to him in the forest in which he was said to have been kept.
Meanwhile, his wife, Dorcas, who was also kidnapped, was not released along with him as the kidnappers have said the ‘meagre’ amount they were paid only covered the bishop.
Church officials have been tight-lipped about the amount paid out of the N10m demanded by the kidnappers, but it was confirmed ransom was indeed paid to secure his release. It was also learnt that the church had raised N2m but it could not be confirmed whether the amount paid as ransom was more than that.
“We were happy that the bishop was released. But we are intensifying prayers on a daily basis for the quick release of his wife. We are praying to hear the good news soon,” the Diocesan Publicity Secretary, Chief Femi Adetona, told Saturday PUNCH.
The kidnap of the bishop and his wife has been a source of apprehension in the African Church community for days.
Saturday PUNCH broke the story of the abduction of the bishop last week, reporting that he and his wife were grabbed on Saturday, December 5 as they were slated to attend an adult harvest programme the following day in Warri.