August 5, 2021

Plateau Pastor kidnapped by terrorists still missing days after being reported free

Rev. Polycarp Zongo

The Pastor of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) kidnapped by terrorists two weeks ago, Rev. Polycarp Zongo has yet to return home nearly 48hrs after he was rumoured free.

Zongo was on Friday night said to have been released by his captors and in DSS custody.

Church Officials confirmed the rumoured release, but gave no details.

“He has been released and on his way to Jos. He will arrive tomorrow,” a top Reverend of the Church told jubilant crowds in the house of the missing Pastor.

Celebrations held through the night with many trouping to rejoice with the family.

Mrs. Zongo (second from right) is joined by friends and well wishers to celebrate husband’s release on Saturday night

On Sunday morning however, Church Officials said they had yet to establish contact with the missing Pastor.

President of the Church of Christ in Nations, Rev. Dr. Dachollom Datiri revealed the rumours of the hostage’s release could not be verified.

How the rumour started

On Friday evening, a WhatsApp broadcast from an unidentified source; “To God be the glory. Rev Polycarp Zongo has been released. There’s nothing the Lord cannot do. Praise God all his believers” was widely circulated on social media.

Officials and reporters familiar with the case dismissed it as mere rumour until at about 10pm when a top Official said the missing Pastor had spoken to his wife and colleague elsewhere.

But digging further on Sunday after the COCIN President’s disclaimer, it was found that a Pastor had reported being told by security sources that the missing Rev. Zongo was released.

Churches hold prayers for Rev. Zongo

This was however after rumours of the release started. The said Pastor called security sources to confirm the rumours, it was gathered.

The rumours are believed to have emerged from misconstrued prophetic declarations by some prayer Forces networking to intercede for the missing Pastor.

Zongo pleads for rescue in new video

Rev. Zongo, last Wednesday appeared in a new video saying he was captured by soldiers of “Kailaifa” while traveling to Gombe for a conference.

A new terrorist group has been reported with same identity around Bauchi and Gombe boundaries.

Rev. Zongo in terrorist video

In the video, Zongo appears terrified with faint chirping sounds of birds in the background but no flag or rifle, popular signatures of ISWAP rivaled Boko Haram appear in the video.

Both ISWAP and Boko Haram operate in the desert forests of Borno, where few wildlife exist.

See Video of Rev. Polycarp Zongo pleading for help

The Leading Pastor of COCIN Wild Life Park, Jos however says in the video that two other Christian ladies were in the custody of the insurgents, pleading with Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, the Senator representing Plateau North in the National Assembly, Istifanus Gyang and the leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and COCIN to “help rescue” him “from their hands.”

With all hostages being Christian, the captors might be breakaway faction or Islamic fundamentalist group similar to Boko Haram and ISWAP.