THE disappearance of a one-year-old child, Gold Kolawole, during last Sunday’s church service in a white garment church (name withheld) in Akure, Ondo State capital, has been causing ripples within the church, while family members of the child have been left in distress.
The one-year-old boy was discovered to be missing while service was ongoing at the church when the mother visited the children’s section of the church to check her son.
It was gathered that the mother, Modupe Kolawole, raised the alarm when she could not find her son.
She was, however, assured that the child could not be kidnapped or taken away from the church.
Speaking on the incident, Mrs Kolawole said she took her son to the children’s department on Sunday, where he was duly registered.
The mother said she decided to check on the boy around 11:45 a.m, only to discover the chair her son sat had been upturned and he was nowhere to be found.
She said: “I looked around the children’s department to see if his position was changed but he was nowhere to be found among the over 200 children at the section.
“I took him there to motivate him to walk because he is a little over one year and has not started walking. We were duly registered at the section and he was registered as number 87 that Sunday.
“Despite raising the alarm, the leadership of the church looked unshaken as they continued with the service until the service was brought to an end around 5:30 p.m and my son was still missing.”
She, however, said that the General Overseer of the church (name withheld) assured that the baby would be found or rescued. She said she later reported the incident at the police station at around 8:00 p.m.
The mother said on the day of the incident, she had to sleep in the church while awaiting her son’s return.
She said she returned to the police station and was followed by policemen operatives to the church to investigate the matter.
Meanwhile, the General Overseer of the Church, has been invited to the palace of the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo, over the incident after the parents of the mother of the missing boy reported the incident at the palace.
Some youths, who were armed with placards were said to have visited the palace, protesting over the nonchalant attitude of the church and its leadership to the missing boy
The outcome of the meeting was not known while the pastor in charge refused to pick his call to react.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Femi Joseph, confirmed the incident and said the command had begun an investigation into the matter. He also assured that detectives from the state command would rescue the toddler.
Joseph explained that there was no formal report of the incident from any quarters, based on the understanding between the parents of the missing boy and the church’s leadership.
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