Gunmen kidnap Catholic priest – Benue

Ethiopian military pushes back militiamen in two major Amhara towns

Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers have abducted a Catholic priest of Otukpo Diocese, Rev. Fr. Anthony Adikwu.

The Rev. Father is the parish priest of St. Margaret’s Parish, Ajegbe Awume, in Ohimini Local Government Area of Benue State.

An eyewitness, who simply identified himself as Oche, told our correspondent that some gunmen invaded the Awume community around 10 p.m. and went straight to the church premises, from where they whisked the priest away.

He said, “Yesterday (Thursday) night at 10 p.m., some gunmen stormed Ajegbe Awume, Ohimini Benue State, the kidnappers went straight to the church premises and kidnapped the Rev. Father in Charge of St. Margaret Parish.”

When contacted, the Benue State Command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Catherine Anene, confirmed the incident.

Anene said, “The information got to us this morning (Friday), and we are working on it.”

A policeman and two civilians who were returning from a burial were kidnapped on Tuesday around Ahume along Makurdi/Naka Road.

The Chairman of Gwer West Local Government, Andrew Ayande, told journalists that N1.7 million was demanded from the family of the kidnap victims.

Giving an update on the kidnapping on Friday, Ayande said that the policeman and one other victim later escaped from the kidnappers’ den.

He added that the female victim was rescued on Friday morning by security operatives.

“Security operatives were able to rescue the female kidnap victim this (Friday) morning while the other victims—the policeman and the man—escaped from the kidnappers’ den,” Ayande said.

The chairman, however, said that the female victim paid N400,000 as ransom.

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