By Peter Duru – Makurdi
Irate youths Tuesday morning reportedly razed the Divine Shadow Church belonging to one Prophet Joshua Uhembe and selected buildings of his alleged accomplice, Noah Saka in Daudu, Guma Local Government Area of Benue State over their purported complicity in the disappearance of male genital organs in community.
The angry youths had last Saturday morning barricaded major roads in Daudu on Makurdi-Lafia over the incident in the community which hosts a large population of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in the state.
When Vanguard visited Daudu some of the buildings were still on fire, a source in the area who spoke on condition of anonymity said “the youths are angry because they said there had been cases of male sexual organ disappearance in Daudu in the past few weeks. As at the last count, 12 persons have reported the disappearance of their organs and they accused the pastor of conniving with some individuals to perpetrate the act.
“He is said to collect money from victims to restore the missing male organs. That gave everyone the impression that he is working with those behind the missing organs.”
One of the victims, 25 year Francis Nongu who narrated how he lost his manhood in October said he was referred to the pastor who demanded N16,000 to have it restored.
“But up till today, my manhood is gone. I cannot have a feeling for a woman and the person the pastor used to take away my penis has committed suicide and the police have closed the case,” he lamented.
One of the protesting youths, who identified himself as Aondoungwa, said: “the attitude of the Prophet Uhembe and Noah Saka have put fear in the people especially men who now find it difficult to move freely for fear of having their penis removed.
“We are surprised that someone who calls himself a man of God will stoop so low to removing private parts of men for ritual purposes.
“The youths have done this to serve as a deterrent to other people who may have such wicked intentions. We believed that if he (Uhembe) is not stopped, he may extend his activities to women.”
Confirming the incident, the Vice Chairman of Guma LGA, Mr John Onyigbo said the youths decided to go berserk and set ablaze a Church and some buildings belonging to the alleged masterminds of the act.
According to Onyigbo, “there had been cases of penis disappearance in Daudu, particularly, market days. Times, two or three missing organs were reported.
“So the chiefs and community leaders decided to hold a meeting on the case today (Tuesday). Two victims were interviewed and they confirmed this.
“Accusing finger was pointed to a man (names withheld) in the process and a pastor was also mentioned who is found to be charging victims N16,000 to restore the organ.
“So, Our Chief now asked the Divisional Police Officer of Daudu to take the two people away. But in the case of the victim standing here (Francis), they could not restore his manhood.
“It was after this that youths went out to burn down all the property that belongs to the sponsor and the church of the pastor,” he said.
Meanwhile, when Vanguard visited the Divisional Police station in Daudu, the DPO who declined to give his name said, ” I can’t tell you anything because am not authorized to talk to journalists.
“Am heading to Makurdi now to brief my boss, the Commissioner of Police, (Garba Mukkadas).
When contacted, the state Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent, DSP, Catherine Anene who confirmed the development said: “some persons were arrested for destruction of public property”.
“If you allege that somebody took your manhood, it is not a justification for you to go and destroy property.
“There is due process for everything so while they are at the hospital to confirm whether that is true, we will still handle them (the protesters) as people who have destroyed property”.
The PPRO however, said she was not aware if the accused persons were in police custody.