The pastor-in-charge of Grace and Power Divine Prophetic Ministry, Awka, Pastor David Elijah Chidiebere, narrowly escaped death yesterday, when unknown gunmen shot him in front of his church in Awka, the Anambra State capital.
The middle-aged pastor who has been running the ministry has gained popularity through his deliverance and healing exploits, especially on Thursdays. Eyewitnesses said the attackers who may have been lurking around soon emerged from hiding and started shooting sporadically, as faithful ran for cover to save their lives.
It was not yet clear whether the gunmen were hired assassins, or armed robbers, but some church members allege that the gunmen trailed the pastor in their vehicle from Enugu to Awka where he was attacked as he tried to park his car in front of his church.
However, a source who spoke to newsmen yesterday evening alleged that the suspects demanded for the sum of N5 million, during which he offered them N1million which they rejected. The witness stated further that the gunmen after riddling his vehicle with bullets, left him in the pool of his blood and carted away an undisclosed sum of money.
When The Guardian visited the church premises yesterday, some church members were seen gathered in groups discussing the development, while others had fled the scene for safety.
It was gathered that the pastor who has a four-day programme running from Wednesday till Sunday, was rescued by some members of his church after the gunmen had left. They took him to an undisclosed hospital for treatment.