Unidentified gunmen on Tuesday, November 6, abducted four Catholic priests between Agbor and Umutu in Ukwani Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria.
The priests were said to be returning from their annual class meeting that took place in Warri on Monday and Tuesday to mark their 10th priestly ordination. They were on their way to the seminary of All Saints, Uhiele-Ekpoma, to celebrate with the seminary community when the gunmen waylaid them and took four of them away.
The abducted priests include Rev. Fr. Victor Adigboluja of Ijebu Ode Diocese, Rev. Fr. Anthony Otegbola, Abeokuta Diocese, Rev. Fr. Joseph Idiaye, Benin Archdiocese and Rev. Fr. Obadjere Emmanuel of the Diocese of Warri.
Speaking with Newsmen on the condition of anonymity, one of the priests who escaped, said they were all returning from their annual class meeting that held in Warri between Monday, November 5 and Tuesday November 6, which incidentally marked their 10th year priestly anniversary.
“Thereafter, we moved over to the Seminary Of All Saints, Uhiele-Ekpoma, our Alma Mater, to celebrate with the Seminary community as part of the alumni events for this year. After the successful completion of the meeting in Warri on Tuesday evening and while we were going back to Ekpoma between Agbor and Umutu in Delta State, these fierce-looking and heavily armed men suddenly burst out of the bush and started firing at our bus. While some managed to escape from their evil clutches, unfortunately, four of our brothers were whisked away to an unknown location.”
He ask everyone to pray for their safe and timely release, adding that attacks of this nature against the Catholic church have become one too many. The priest said the abductors were yet to make contact, reminding, however, that the Catholic Church does not encourage payment of ransom to free kidnapped victims.