Saturday , 25 May 2024

Gunmen kidnap Catholic Priest in Delta

…demand N15m ransom

The parish priest of Emmanuel Catholic Church, Oviri-Okpe in Okpe council area of Delta state, Rev Father Christopher Ogaga, has been kidnapped.

The news of the kidnap of Father Ogaga broke few hours after the tragedy of the collapse of another Catholic parish within same Okpe council area, which claimed a live and left about 15 persons critically injured.

Kidnappers of the clergy have, however, made a demand of N15 million ransom for his release.

The Nation gathered that Ogaga, who is priest of two other parishes of the church; St Luke’s Catholic Church, Oviri Okpe and St Jude’s Catholic Church Aghalopke, is also the principal of St. Peters Clavers College, Aghalokpe.

According to a source from one of his parishes, the Rev Father was kidnapped on Saturday night while traveling to Warri where he was to help the parish priest of Mother of Redeemer Catholic Church, Airport junction, Effurun for the three masses on Sunday morning.

The source said Ogaga was driving alone along the Arava-Oviri-Orere-Okpe Road, the normal route to Warri, when he was kidnapped, although no one could identify the exact part of the road where he was taken from.

“He left the house and he was heading to Warri through Arava-Oviri-Orere-Okpe Road. That is the route he used to take to Warri. We are suspecting that he might have been kidnapped along this route.

“He was driving alone when the incident happened because he usually travels to Warri alone on Sundays. We were supposed to go with him that Saturday, but we did not go with him,” the source said.

Confirming the development, the Delta state Commissioner of Police, Mr Muhammad Mustafa, said his command had begun a search for the kidnapped priest.

“Yes, we are already searching for the kidnappers. He was kidnapped two days ago”, adding that all would be done to ensure the priest’s speedy and safe rescue.

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