Concerns may be mounting in the Catholic Church, as three of her Priests were kidnapped in Edo and Kaduna states between Saturday and Monday by terrorists.
Rev. Fr. Peter Udo of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church Uromi, in Esan North East, and Fr. Philemon Oboh of St Joseph Retreat Center, Ugboha, in Esan South East local government area were kidnapped on Saturday after attacking the car they were in along the Benin-Ekpoma expressway.
Confirming the report of the abduction, the spokesperson for the Edo State Police Command, Superintendent of Police (SP) Chidi Nwabuzor, said that “the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Ugboha police Division has called to inform that one Rev Father Amos Abhulimen on Saturday came to the station to report the kidnap of the two Rev Fathers”.
“Based on the report,” said the spokesperson, “the state Commissioner of Police Abutu Yaro, has dispatched a team of policemen as a reinforcement to the men of Ugboha division to go for the rescue of the two Catholic Priests unhurt and get the kidnappers arrested, he said.
Another Priest, Revd. Fr. Emmanuel Silas, of St. Charles Catholic Church, Zambina, in Kauru Local Government Area of Kaduna State was kidnapped by bandits in the early hours of Monday.
The Chancellor, Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Uchechukwu Okolo, who confirmed the kidnap in a statement on Monday said, “it is with great pain that we announce to you the kidnapping of our Priest, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Silas.
“The sad event is believed to have occurred in the early hours of July 4, 2022, when he could not turn up for morning mass. He was abducted from the parish rectory at St. Charles Catholic Church, Zambina, in Kauru Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
“While we solicit for an intense prayer for his quick and safe release, we equally wish to call on all and sundry to refrain from taking the laws into their hands. We will use every legitimate means to ensure his quick and safe release.
“May Jesus crucified on the Cross, listen to our prayers and hasten the unconditional release of His Priest and all other kidnapped persons,” he said.