Several youths in Abule Egba, Lagos State, have given the resident pastor of the El-Adonai Evangelical Ministry (Aladura), where four worshippers were electrocuted last Sunday, seven days to turn himself in or risk having the church burned.
A four-day ultimatum to show up began on Thursday, according to the youth.
Six days after his church members were electrocuted, the pastor’s location remained unknown.
After some youths threatened to burn down his church and vandalize his church because they blamed him for the incident, the pastor, who also doubles as a landlord, fled into hiding.
According to reports, the victims were electrocuted after a high-tension cable snapped as they were erecting a flag on the church’s grounds in advance of its annual thanksgiving service.
When the incident scene was visited during the week, the premises of the church appeared deserted, and there were no signs of activity in the building.
The gate, bearing the church’s banner with the motto: “Come to the light for the brightness (Isaiah 60:3)” was locked.
Baba, a resident who spoke on behalf of the youths in the area, said they gave the pastor seven days to explain what happened or they would torch the church.
He said, “If he is not guilty, why is he running? His phone lines are switched off. That man is not to be trusted. He should submit himself to the police and explain to us what happened there. I agree that he saved two victims in the hospital, but why is he running? A clear conscience, they say, fears no accusation!”
“Losing four young men with a promising future is really heartbreaking, and it would be wrong if the case is swept under the carpet. I call on the government and the police to probe the matter properly and know the actual cause of the deaths. The young men cannot just die like that. Mama Ayomide, who lost her young son, has been crying since the incident happened. We want justice.”
According to an anonymous resident, three of the deceased victims had been buried.
She said, “Since the incident happened, he fled and hasn’t returned. We have sent some youths to monitor the house to see if he would sneak in to pick up a few things, but he has not come home to see what is happening. He is nowhere to be found, and we have not heard from him.”
Another resident, identified as Ola, said the incident shook the neighbourhood, adding that the pastor could rescue two victims at the scene.
He said, “We just heard a loud noise from outside, and when we rushed out, we saw that the boys had been electrocuted. The pastor really tried to rescue them. He used a stick to help push them out of it. That was how two people were saved. He ran away when the crowd began to increase, and people asked further how the incident happened, linking him to some superstitious activities.”
It was also learnt that the electric pole had been in the compound for about ten years.
“Nobody knew this would happen. They were changing the flag after washing it, and it tilted towards the pole and caused a spark,” another resident said.
The footwear of the victims, the pole, and the flag were still on the premises.
No one was able to connect to the three numbers on the banner in front of the church.
As of the time, this report was filed, messages sent to the numbers had not been replied to.
However, the state police public relations officer, CSP Adekunle Ajisebutu, warned the youths from taking the law into their own hands. “Investigation is still ongoing on the matter,” he added.