Gunmen kidnap two Catholic Priests in Niger state

Two Priests of St Luke’s Catholic Church, Gyedna, Garam Ward in Tafa Local Government Area of Niger State, Fr Paul Sanogo and Seminarian Melchior have been reportedly abducted by gunmen suspected to be bandits.

It was gathered that the priests were kidnapped in the early hours of Thursday at their residence in Gyedna.

Residents told Daily Trust that the kidnappers shot into the air for over an hour before they whisked away the two priests.

The Catholic Bishop of Minna, Most Rev Dr Martin Igwe Uzoukwu in a message he sent to church members and shared with Daily Trust correspondent said the two priests were pastoral workers at St Luke’s Catholic Church Gyedna.

Part of the message read: “On behalf of my Auxiliary Most Rev Sylvester Luka Gopep, the Priests and Religious of the Catholic Diocese of Minna, I request for your prayers for Fr Paul Sanogo, M.Afr and Seminarian Melchior who were kidnapped by bandits in the early hours of August 3, 2023 at the priest residence at Gyedna, Niger State.

“Fr Paul Sanogo, M.Afr and Seminarian Melchior are pastoral workers serving at St Luke’s Catholic Church Gyedna, Niger State. We pray the Lord hears our prayers and bring them back in peace”.

When contacted, the Niger State Police ComCommand Spokesperson, SP Wasiu Abiodun confirmed the incident.

He disclosed that police tactical teams led by the DPO of Tafa Division had been dispatched to the scene.

“However, the location of the church was discovered to be on the outskirt of the town, which is about an hour drive from Sabon-Wuse and surrounded with mountains as well as forest, close to Kagarko of Kaduna state.

“Meanwhile, other seminarians therein have been advised to relocate temporarily while investigation into the incident is ongoing with a view to rescuing the victims and arrest the perpetrators of the crime”, Abiodun said.

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