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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Again, 2 Catholic Priests Kidnapped In Edo

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Two Catholic Priests have been reportedly abducted by gunmen in Edo State.

The Priests, Rev. Fathers Udo Peter, and Philemon Oboh, of St. Patrick Catholic Church Uromi and St. Joseph Retreat Centre, Ugboha, respectively of the Catholic Diocese of Uromi, were said to be travelling from Benin to Uromi when they were abducted along the Benin-Auchi-Benin road on Saturday.

The incident occurred less than one week after Rev. Fr. Christopher Odia was gruesomely killed by suspected Fulani kidnappers at Ikabigbo in Etsako West Local Government Area of the state.

Confirming the incident, the spokesman of the Edo State Police Command, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, said “This is to confirm the kidnap incident of two Catholic Rev. Fathers, Rev. Fr. Udo Peter of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church Uromi and Rev. Fr. Philemon Oboh of St. Joseph Retreat Center, Ugboha in Esan South East Local Government Area of Edo State.

“The Edo State Police Command was informed of the incident by the Divisional Police Officer, Ugboha, Edo State, that on Sunday 03/07/2022 one Rev. Father Amos Abhulimen of St. Dominic Catholic Church Ugboha reported that he was informed by the Catholic authority via WhatsApp that the above named Catholic Rev. Fathers were attacked, kidnapped and taken to an unknown place by some kidnappers along Benin-Auchi expressway between Ehor and Iruekpen Communities

“Immediately, the Commissioner Of Police Edo State, CP Abutu Yaro, fdc dispatched Police Operatives to the area and warned to carry out an aggressive and well-coordinated manhunt in arresting the kidnappers and for the rescuing of the Rev. Fathers unhurt. The CP solicits for the cooperation of the general public in giving information to the Police and other sister security agencies in Policing Edo State”, he added.

Donatus Ogun, the Catholic Bishop of Uromi Diocese, could not be reached for comments as he was said to be in a meeting.

“Personally, here, I cannot give any information. The Bishop is in a meeting”, an aide to the Bishop told Daily Sun on phone.

Also, a childhood friend of Fr Oboh, Mr Fred Itua, told Daily Sun that “Fr. Oboh is a religious priest, who contrary to popularly held views, doesn’t have money.

“His abduction is unfortunate and disheartening. We can only appeal to his abductors to set him free. It’s an appeal. This is very traumatizing,” Itua said.

Meanwhile, the family of the slain abducted Catholic Priest of Ikabigbo, Fr Christopher Odia, has debunked media reports that her mother, Philomena Odia Ogedegbe is dead.

The family in a statement signed by the late Priest’s elder brother, Comrade Robert Ogedegbe, said contrary to the false report, their mother was healthy and mourning her son.

Besides, the statement said Kebiru, the arrested Fulani man who masterminded the kidnap and killing of Fr. Christopher Odia, was not his gardener nor gateman.

“We however wish to set the records straight that the said Kebiru was neither Fr Christopher’s gardener nor gateway, but was only living in the same Ikabigbo Community where our son/brother was pastoring the Catholic faithful as Priest”, the statement added.

Source: Sun

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