By SIimon Eroro in the Post Courier
Less than 24 hours after being consecrated as the new Anglican Church Bishop of Popondetta, Bishop Lindsay Ihove found himself at the mercy of criminals.
Bishop Ihove was a shocked man yesterday after going through the harrowing ordeal of being held up at gunpoint infront of his family at home on Monday night.
Criminals took advantage of the current disaster problems in the province and held up Bishop Ihove walking away with all the valuable gifts and money that were presented to him by the Anglican diocese and all the Anglican church parishes throughout the province.
The incident happened at midnight on Monday after his consecration on Sunday at his official home at Resurrection in Popondetta.
Popondetta police, while confirming the incident yesterday, described the actions of the criminals as “lower than animals” and “unfit to cohabit among humans”.
Police said the robbery of such a senior church leader in Popondetta brought total shame to the people of Northern Province where the Anglican Church was the main Christian denomination.
The first Anglican missionaries first arrived in Wedau in Milne Bay and later spread to other parts of the country, including Northern Province.
Police also confirmed an arson incident about two hours earlier between 9 – 10pm, at the bottom town area where former Ijivitari District Treasurer Delilah Gore’s house was set on fire and burnt to ashes.
A senior officer said the two incidents were likely to be committed by the same group of people but this could be ascertained after the investigations.
A community leader from Tufi Luke Nunisa told Post-Courier last night that while the country was supposed to be progressing into the new millennium, Northern Province was instead going backwards.
Mr Nunisa said this was the worst incident committed against the church, especially when all corners of the province were still celebrating the consecration of the new bishop which was now part of the Orokaiva history.
The first Anglican missionaries arrived in Wedau 120 years ago.
“Police were doing their best to apprehend this robbers, the community must wake up to support the work of police by helping to fight law and order in the province,” Mr Nunisa said.