Gunmen have abducted a Catholic priest around Bishop’s Court in lselle Uku, Aniocha North Local Council of Delta State.
The Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Jude Onyebadi of Saint’s Peters & Paul, Issele Asagba, was said to have been monitored and kidnapped in his farm, at the weekend, where he went to inspect his farm, workers and pay them for the work done.
Communication Director, Catholic Diocese of Issele Uku, Rev. Fr. Charles Uganwan, who confirmed the development, said that the matter had been reported to the security agencies and that members of the church had embarked on prayers for his release unhurt.
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He said the kidnappers had not made any contact or demanded for ransom.
He, therefore, pleaded with the kidnappers who may not know that he is a priest to release him unconditionally.
When contacted, the state’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, confirmed the incident, saying: “The police have been dispatched to the bush to rescue the Catholic Priest.”
HOWEVER, the immediate past governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has warned youths in the country against kidnapping.
He said that such could continue to damage Nigeria’s image among comity of nations, just as he charged youths in Niger Delta to develop their talents in the overall good of the region.
Uduaghan, who spoke at the weekend when he received a former Super Eagles midfielder, Christian Obodo, at his Warri residence in Delta State, charged Nigerian youths to shun kidnapping and other social vices that could negatively impact their talents and society.
Obodo, who played for Greece Football Club, Appollon Smyrnis before his retirement, commended Uduaghan for the swift response of the state government under his leadership at the time of his abduction.
He urged youths not to allow hardship to push them into criminal activities as they may lose their lives in the process.
“I don’t think kidnapping is the way forward in life. I think there are better things to do. I know things are not easy, but there is always a solution.”
MEANWHILE, Delta State governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has said that local council elections schedule for January next year will not hold, after all.
Okowa said that tentative date for the election would be made known in due course, but advised aspirants to continue with their political consultations.
The governor stated this, yesterday, at the thanksgiving reception ceremony organised in honour of the state chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Kingsley Esiso, in Sapele.