BENIN CITY- Unidentified gunmen today, Sunday July, 3 kidnapped two catholic priests in Edo State.
The State Police Command said it has begun rescue operation for the two Rev. Father.
They are 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.
Their abduction came exactly a week after Rev. Fr Christopher Odia of St. Michael Catholic church, lkhabigbo, Etsako West local government area of Edo state, was abducted and murdered.
The Edo State Police Command confirmed the abduction of the two priests in a statement e-signed and made available to journalists by its spokesman SP Chidi Nwabuzor in Benin City.
“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 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 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”. The statement explained.
It will be recalled that Rev. Fr. Christopher Odia was in his rectory about to go out to officiate mass that fateful Sunday, June 26, 2022 when the gunmen struck.
The unfortunate incident reportedly claimed four lives as the casualties were identified as one Kabiru the Rev father’s domestic servant alleged to have organised the abduction, a hunter named Mallam Nurudeen Umosor killed while chasing the kidnappers and one of the fleeing kidnappers apprehended by vigilante group and set ablaze by irate youths in the locality.
Unconfirmed reports said a mass server was among the casualties.
It was further reported that the said Kabiru, an old Fulani man in the community connived with four of his tribesmen in Aviele town to kidnap the Rev Father.
The bravery of the locals led to the apprehension of two of the kidnappers one of whom was also reported to be helping police in investigation.
The State Police Command in a statement assured residents that other fleeing members of the kidnap gang would be apprehended as operatives had commenced a serious bush combing.