Gunmen have kidnapped two Catholic priests in Edo State, amid the continued abduction of clergymen in the country.
Police authorities in the state have confirmed the incident which occurred on Saturday night around Ehor and Iruekpen communities along the Benin-Auchi Expressway.
In a statement on Sunday, the Police Public Relations Officer in Edo, Chidi Nwabuzor, identified the victims as Reverend Father Udo Peter of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Uromi, and Reverend Father Philemon Oboh of St. Joseph Retreat Centre, Ugboha in Esan South East Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
Barely a week before the incident, Channels Television reported the abduction and subsequent killing of Reverend Father Christopher Odia of St. Michael Catholic Church, lkhabigbo in Etsako LGA of Edo State.
He was abducted from his rectory last Sunday while he was on his way to conduct a mass for worshippers at the parish.
But the clergyman was later killed by his abductors out of frustration during a fire exchange with security operatives who were on a rescue mission.
Nwabuzor, while narrating the latest incident, said one Reverend Father Amos Abhulimen of St. Dominic Catholic Church, Ugboha informed the police of the abduction of his colleagues.
According to him, the Commissioner of Police Edo, Abutu Yaro, has dispatched security operatives to the area with a view to rescuing the clergymen and arresting the kidnappers.
Read the full statement below:
This is to confirm the kidnap incident of two Catholic reverend fathers, Reverend Father Udo Peter of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church Uromi and Reverend Father 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 Reverend 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 Reverend 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 Reverend Fathers unhurt.
The CP solicits the cooperation of the general public in giving information to the Police and other sister security agencies in Policing Edo State.
SP CHIDI NWABUZOR, Anipr
Police Public Relations Officer, Edo State Police Command, Benin City.
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