The United Church of Christ in Nigeria (HEKAN) has condemned the arrest of 40 of its Sunday school pupils and two teachers by personnel of the Federal Road Safety Corps in Kaduna, while on their way to attend the annual HEKAN National Sunday School Camp at the church headquarters in the state.
A statement signed by HEKAN Vice President, Rev. Emmanuel Nama, noted that the 42 persons were arrested along Ali AKilu Road in Kaduna, at about 4:30 pm Wednesday evening, and were also being maltreated by the Corps.
According to Nama, the children left their homes with the consent of their parents and their resident pastors to attend the annual HEKAN National Sunday School camp. He added that the FRSC had earlier hold a press briefing and snap shots of the children, stating that the children were taken for trafficking before handing them over to the Kaduna state Police command without confirming from the church authority, despite all explanations by their teachers on the pupils’ movement.
“The children are presently at the headquarters of the United Church of Christ in Nigeria, HEKAN, Katsina Road for the Annual Sunday School camp. The church authority is calling on the authorities concerned to investigate the matter and seek for a public apology from the FRSC Kaduna state command.
“The church is calling on the general public to disregard the news given by the FRSC Kaduna command, which says it arrested a vehicle for ‘overloading’ along Kaduna-Zaria Road, which was later discovered to be occupied by suspected child traffickers with 44 minors,” describing it as false and baseless, adding that” they are genuine members of the United Church of Christ in Nigeria, HEKAN DCC Gubuchi in Makarfi Local Government Area of Kaduna state,” the statement noted.