Unidentified gunmen stormed a church in Gboko Local Government Area (LGA) in Benue state on Thursday, August 27, and kidnapped a pastor. The armed men arrived at the scene on motorbikes and pretended to be worshippers, before trailing Pastor Emmanuel Apeh to his vehicle and firing shots to clear the crowd. They took him away on their bikes to an unknown location and have reportedly asked for a N10 million (USD 25,810) ransom fee. Police are responding to the incident.
A heightened security presence is expected in the vicinity of the incident over the near term.
Kidnappings are common in Nigeria. Both Nigerians and foreign nationals have been targeted by kidnappers.
Those in Benue state are advised to monitor developments, remain vigilant, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
The security situation in Nigeria remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel. Individuals in Nigeria are advised to remain vigilant, vary daily schedules and itineraries, and refrain from sharing personal information with unknown persons to limit the risk of being targeted by potential kidnappers. If attacked, remain calm, do not offer resistance, and adopt a cooperative attitude. Do everything in your power to keep the situation as calm as possible (e.g. accepted offered food, engage in conversation initiated by your captors, avoid all political or potentially inflammatory topics, etc.).
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