Matthew Chapter 6:33, says: “Seek ye first, the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”
The foregoing biblical injunction may no doubt have propelled John Mathew Ezinne, an Aba-based petty trader to abandon his Catholic faith in search of salvation in a new generation church.
Ezinne, 58, who hails from Osumenyi in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State, was managing his business with his wife until he lost his shop to government some years ago. With that, their fortune dimmed, but notwithstanding, the couple clung to God hoping that things would improve until one fateful day in 2017, when their female neighbour spoke to them about a new generation (names withheld) where signs and wonders happen.
He attended the programme of the church for first time in Aba, liked their approach, especially prayers and ministration, and decided to be attending their programmes, even as he remained in his Catholic faith.
Ezinne had attended various programmes of his new found church for about the six months before he allegedly received a telephone call from the senior pastor of the church at its headquarters urging him to come to the Abia State capital and participate in a ‘power-packed programme.’
Daily Sun gathered that it was while searching for the Umuahia address of the church that Ezinne was reportedly abducted and has since not been seen nor heard from.
His wife, Fidelia, a petty trader and mother of four, narrated the circumstances behind the disappearance of her husband and how she tried to dissuade him from embarking on that journey that led to his disappearance on Saturday, February 24, 2018.
She spoke at the premises of Zone 9 Police headquarters in Umuahia, calling on the Assistant Inspector General of Police; Mr Hosea Karma to help unravel the mystery behind her spouse’s the disappearance.
How her husband went missing
“He first attended the programme of the church in Aba, after he was convinced about the efficacy of their prayers by a nurse that runs patent medicine shop in our building. He came back one day and said that the pastor of the church asked that he should bring me to the programme, but I told him that I wasn’t interested because we are Catholics. They went to the church there every Thursday for prayers for about four months before Christmas.
“On Thursday, February 22 this year, they had concluded their programme in Aba, and he told me that he was going to join another programme of the church holding in Umuahia, and I asked him not to go, that he should rather remain in our Catholic Church in Aba. He refused, saying that he was aware that our church exists, but that he wanted to go to the Umuahia programme, because he was satisfied with them. So, on 23 February, he left for Umuahia, but something happened and he did not reach Umuahia that evening and came back to our church and joined them in the programme they were holding there.
“On that Saturday, February 24, 2018, that day was national environmental sanitation exercise, he insisted that he would go to Umuahia for the church programme and I asked him not to go.
“This led us to very strong argument as I was trying to dissuade him from going, at a point, it seemed as if it was going to lead to a quarrel between us and he got angry. Then, I withdrew from the argument and left him for the market. When I came back from the market in the evening, I was told that he went to Umuahia for the programne for which we argued about in the morning.
“So while I was at home late in the evening when the nurse came and called me that my husband was calling me on phone and I went and collected the phone. I picked the call and asked him if he had reached Umuahia and he said yes but that he was in the motor park and that he had been calling the pastor on phone and he was not picking and whenever he picked he would tell him that he was coming. I told him since it was already past 8pm and he hadn’t seen the pastor that he should board another vehicle back to Aba.
“I was about dropping the phone when he started shouting at the other end that he did not know those who came to pick him. I was holding that phone and he was shouting to the people to give him his bag and slippers, asking them why they were collecting his bag and slippers.
“He was lamenting that he had met his end; that I should forgive him in any way he had offended me, because what he was seeing had shown him that he had met his end,” Mrs. Ezinne narrated.
At that point, Mrs Ezinne said that she started crying, and the nurse collected the phone from her. By the time she called him back, the phone did not connect, and that was the last time the family had contact with their head of household.
Having reported the matter to Central Police Station, Aba without any result, Mrs. Ezinne brought it to Zone 9. She therefore, called on AIG Karma, “whom I have been told is a godly man, to help me fish out those holding my husband hostage. Those holding him have not called to demand for ransom which shows us that they abducted him for a different purpose, and I am of the belief that they have not killed him, my husband is still alive.”
Also, her daughter, amidst tears pleaded with abductors of her father to release him as their mother cannot bear the burden in their family alone.
Spokesperson of the Zone 9, DSP Janet Egwuchukwu, confirmed the incident.
“We have gone to hospitals, looked at mortuaries, to see if he had accident and his corpse was dumped there, but we did not see him. We have also radioed all the stations to know if he was detained at any police station to no avail. We now want to use this opportunity to tell the public that anybody who happens to see him should please report to the police so as to save his family from this agony and grief.”
Daily Sun gathered that what would have been a lead collapsed after all as police discovered that his recovered phone was with a Good Samaritan whose son picked and wanted to sell it but was dissuaded by his mother and called the owners of the phone to come and collect it.
The police zonal command spokesperson who promised that they will get to the root of the matter also disclosed that the pastor of the church who the missing man claimed to have invited him, denied inviting him for any programme as the church did not have programme that day.
Egwuchukwu added that he “has been questioned and released, but the person who signed for his release promised to provide him anytime he is required.”