*Achina Community demands unconditional release of their son*
*concludes fasting and praying session, closes shops, market*
The entire Achina Community in Aguata local government area Anambra state yesterday (Sunday) at their various Churches prayed for God’s intervention in the unconditional release of their illustrious son Sir James Uzochukwu Uduji [pictured above].
The Churches spared hours of intercession and intervention prayers asking God to touch the hearts of his abductors to release him immediately as his kidnap has brought sorrow and pains to the Achina community especially widows and the less privileged.
Uduji, Chairman of Cometstar Manufacturing Company, Agbara Industrial Estate, Agbara, Ogun State, Nigeria known for producing the best armoured cable in West Africa was kidnapped by unknown gunmen in front of his residence at 7th Avenue in FESTAC town, Lagos a month and four days now.
And on Saturday the entire Isi-Achina Autonomous community led by its town Union and traditional ruler, that’s the immediate community of Sir James Uduji known as Onwagbulugbulu-Aguata in Achina closed markets and shops to pray for God’s intervention in the release of their illustrious son.
The Isi-Achina Autonomous Community leaders, widows, men and women including children numbering over 3,000 gathered at the Isi-Achina Town Union Hall for an interdenominational service to request for God’s intervention for the release of Sir James Uduji.
They requested President Muhammadu Buhari, Governors of Lagos state Akinwunmi Ambode and Anambra state, Chief Willie Obiano respectively to intervene in their immediate release of Sir Uduji who they described as a peace loving man and creator of jobs, happiness and saviour of their people.
Officiating priests including Rev George Echetebe of St Barnabas Anglican Church, Isi-Achina, Rev Fr Sebastine Ejie Mary’s Catholic Church Isi-Achina as well as Pastor Victor Onyenagolum of Assemblies of God took turns to pray for his immediate and unconditional release as his kidnap has set back the progress and development of the community.
As well, prominent citizens of Isi-Achina Autonomous community including Chief J.C Nwakpadolu , Ikemba Isi-Achina ; President General of Isi-Achina Barr Pius Ezeonyiwara and Dr Sunday Ezeanyaji, Secretary General of Isi-Achina Autonomous community noted that the kidnap of their son has exposed the continued poor security situation in Nigeria and appealed to Inspector General of Police IGP Arase and commissioner of police Lagos to facilitate the release of their son as they did former SGF Falae when he was kidnapped.
Contributing further HRH Igwe Dr David Ezemokwe ,Obi Idegwu of Isi-Achina Autonomous Community , Sir Edwin Okpalaibekwe-Treasurer and Vincent Ibekwe –provost insisted kidnapping is worse than Boko Haram and appealed for immediate stop to kidnapping in Nigeria as it has scared investors away.
His cousin and Vice President of Isi-Achina Autonomous Community Simon Uduji in a vote of thanks commended the people of Isi Achina and entire Achina people for standing with them at their time of grief adding that God will hear and grant all the prayers made for release of Sir James Uduji from his abductors while , Nze Isaac Ezeafulukwe , Action Photos, President of Umuada Isi-Achina , Mrs Florence Ezenweke reminded that the good things Sir Udui did for families and community like tarring of road, drilling of water, empowering youths over 4,000 across Nigeria even in his company and taking care of widows are enough reasons for God to hear them and release him from his captors.
Sir Uduji’s abductors have insisted on collecting $1million or he dies and the minimum the naira equivalent of their demand is N220million.
But Patriarch of the Uduji family, Sir Uche Uduji dismissed the ransom payment saying the figures quoted were untrue and figment of the reporter’s imagination. He insisted that they were still negotiating with the abductors of their son, but refused to disclose the amount paid but said what the family has offered is not in any way near the one hundred million naira as reported.
He said that the family has resorted to prayers that God touches the heart of the abductors to release his brother, attributing the rising surge of kidnapping to unemployment.
The abductors laid an ambush at 72nd junction along 7th Avenue at a bad portion of the road close to Uduji’s residence and as soon as he was sighted, the gunmen deliberately hit his car as in an accident scenario, which forced the driver to stop to ascertain the extent of damage but in the process, the gunmen opened fire, shot the driver and drove off with Sir Uduji to an unknown destination.
The Authority Newspaper reliably gathered that the family coughed out and handed over N100million cash to the abductors but they insist that the balance of N120million must be paid or he dies.
Surprisingly, the abductors suggested that Sir Uduji should send one his family members to come and take his place in captivity and he will be released so that he would go and source for the balance.
Reacting, the Lagos state police command spokesman DSP Joe Offor said that investigation is still ongoing to ensure the safe return of Sir Uduji.
By Emeka Odogwu