Four Catholic priests abducted in Delta State

Four Catholic priests were abducted by gunmen between Agbor and Umutu in Ukwani Local Government Area of Delta State.

It was learnt that the priests were on their way to Uhielle in Ekpoma, Edo State, for an alumni meeting when they were kidnapped.

A source identified the victims as Rev Frs Victor Adigboluja of the Ijebu Ode diocese; Anthony Otegbola, Abeokuta Diocese; Joseph Ediae, Benin Archdiocese; and Emmanuel Obadjere, Warri Diocese.

Another account stated that the priests were returning from their annual class meeting that took place in Warri on Monday and Tuesday to mark their 10th priestly ordination.

They were said to be on the way to the seminary of All Saints, Uhiele-Ekpoma, to celebrate with the seminary community when the gunmen waylaid them and took them away.

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The Public Relations Officer of the Delta State Police Command, DSP Andrew Aniamaka, confirmed the kidnap, but did not give further details.

Aniamaka said it had not beenascertained if the victims were kidnapped in Delta State or at Urhonigbe in neighbouring Edo State, adding that the command was intensifying efforts to unravel the circumstances of the kidnap.

The incident was confirmed by the Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mr Muhammad Mustafa, but he gave an assurance that they would be rescued.

Meanwhile, the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has condemned alleged the kidnap of the four Catholic priests by herdsmen in Delta State.

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In a statement made available by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Terver Akase, on Wednesday, Ortom described the abduction of the priests as “barbaric, dehumanising and shameful.”

The statement quoted the governor to have wondered why armed herdsmen had chosen to make harmless clergymen targets of attacks, and stressed that the motive of the perpetrators was more than mere grazing of cattle.

The governor said the people of Benue State were still mourning the killing of two Catholic priests and 17 worshippers by herdsmen in Mbalom, Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue State earlier this year.

He urged the security agencies to act swiftly to ensure the release of the kidnapped priests in Delta State.

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Source: Punch Newspaper


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