CAN fumes as gunmen abduct over 22 clerics in one year

No fewer than 22 clerics have been kidnapped by gunmen between June 2021 and June 2022 in Nigeria, investigation by Sunday PUNCH has revealed.

Just lately, the Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Samuel Kanu, was kidnapped.

Kanu was kidnapped alongside the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, Abia State, with the Methodist Bishop of Owerri, Rt. Rev. Dennis Mark, and the Prelate’s Chaplain.

The Prelate instructed journalists that the church paid N100m to safe his freedom.

This was adopted by the kidnapping of the Anglican Bishop of Jebba Diocese, Kwara State, Rt. Rev. Oluwaseun Aderogba.

He was kidnapped by gunmen alongside his spouse, and driver, final Sunday, on the Oyo-Ogbomoso Expressway, Oyo State.

The abductors demanded a ransom of N70m.

Catholic clergymen, the Chairman of the Christian Affiliation of Nigeria in Jos East, Rev. James Kantoma, and Fr. Christopher Onotu of Our Girl of Perpetual Assist Church, Kogi, have been kidnapped between June 6 and June 13, 2022.

Two clergymen from Sokoto Catholic Diocese, Rev Frs Stephen Ojapa, Oliver Okpara, and two boys have been kidnapped by gunmen at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Gidan Maikambo, Katsina State on Could 25.

In Ondo, Venerable Olu Obanla of the Anglican Church and his son have been kidnapped alongside the Ifon-Okeluse Highway, on Saturday, Could 22.

The spokesperson for the state police command, SP Funmilayo Odunlami, mentioned they have been launched by the abductors in Edo State three days after their abduction.

In Akwa Ibom, a Catholic priest, Rev Fr Alphonsus Uboh, of the St. Pius X Parish at IkotAbasiAkpan village, in Mkpat Enin Native Authorities Space was kidnapped on Could 8, 2022.

Additionally, the Founding father of Strong Rock Kingdom Church, Apostle John Okoriko, was kidnapped in the identical LGA in April 2022. It was learnt that Okoriko regained his freedom from the abductors after the cost of N10m.

 In Kaduna, catholic clergymen, Rev. Fr Joseph Bako of St John’s Church, Kudenda, and Rev Fr Felix Zakari Fidson, of the Diocese of Zaria, have been kidnapped between March 8 and March 24, 2022.

In Niger, Rev Fr Leo Ozigi of St Mary’s Church, Sarkin Pawa Village in Munya LGA of Niger State, was kidnapped together with others on March 27.  Ozigi regained his freedom after the gangsters have been paid an undisclosed sum.

In Maiduguri, Rev Fr Elijah Wada of the Diocese of Maiduguri was kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists alongside Damboa Maiduguri Highway on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. This was confirmed by the Diocesan Secretary, Fr. John Bakeni.

Gunmen additionally invaded the Christ the King Main Seminary, Kaduna, on October 9, 2021, kidnapping 5 seminarians. All have been finally freed.

An announcement by the Chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan, Emmanuel Okolo confirmed their launch. Particulars on ransom paid weren’t disclosed.

As well as, a Catholic priest, Rev Fr Godfrey Chimezie of St Theresa’s Parish, Umuahia, was kidnapped alongside the Enyiukwu Highway, Abia State, on October 13. The PUNCH reported that the Catholic Bishop of Umuahia, Lucius Ugorji, introduced the discharge of the clergyman.

In Ogun, two Islamic clerics, Hussein AbdulJelil, and his buddy, Ilyas Jamiu, have been kidnapped by a gang of kidnappers in Ayetoro, on December 18.

One other Muslim cleric was kidnapped alongside 11 different folks, in two separate assaults within the Sabon Birni space of Sokoto State on December 13.

Govt with out will

Talking to Sunday PUNCH, CAN President’s aide, Bayo Oladeji, mentioned the President, Main-Normal Mohammed Buhari (retd.), failed to supply safety for lives and property throughout the nation.

He burdened that the FG has additionally refused to overtake the safety structure of the intelligence group.

 “Any authorities that fails to guard its residents has given the folks a free hand to guard themselves, and there’s no legislation in opposition to such,” Oladeji added.

Nonetheless, the Chief Missioner of NASFAT, Sheikh Abdul-Azeez Onike, mentioned, “Authorities is attempting, however we wish them to place in additional effort to make sure the safety of lives and properties as a result of that’s their major function.”

Additionally, a Professor of Sociology, Ahmadu Bello College, Zaria, Kaduna State, Prof Emmanuel Gyong, mentioned, “An important factor is the political will to make use of the navy to do what must be carried out. The federal government arrested the likes of Nnamdi Kanu, Evans, and a few IPOB members, so what’s the distinction?”

Equally, the President of the Nationwide Affiliation of Criminologists and Safety Practitioners of Nigeria, Williams Ekponson, mentioned, “Authorities can resolve insecurity within the nation by way of job creation. Households additionally should be educated on how you can safeguard their lives, in order that they don’t fall prey to any safety threats.”

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