Two Catholic Priests have been kidnapped by unknown gunmen in Edo State, adding to a damning surge in abduction in recent times.

The victims Rev. Father Peter Udo of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Uromi, Esan North East, and Rev. Father Philemon Oboh of St Joseph Retreat Centre, Ugboha in Esan South East Local Government Area, both in Edo Central senatorial district, were both intercepted by gun-wielding men on July 2, while returning from a programme held in Benin City, intending to stop at Uromi. The incident occurred between Ehor and Iruekpen, along the Benin-Ekpoma expressway.

The car conveying both clergymen was violently halted, as their abductors fired several rounds of gunshot in the air before pouncing seconds later. Witnesses say both priests were taken into a nearby bush in the coordinated attack.

Spokesman of the Edo State Police Command, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, confirmed the news via a statement.

‘The Divisional Police Officer in charge of Ugboha Police Division has called to inform that one Rev. Father Amos Abhulimen on Saturday came to the station to report the kidnap of the two Reverend Fathers.

‘Based on the report, the State Commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro, has dispatched a team of policemen as a reinforcement to the men of Ugboha division to go for the rescue of the two Catholic priests unhurt and get the kidnappers arrested.’

The abductors are yet to demand for any ransom at the moment, with many praying for the safety of both Catholic Priests.

Last week, Rev. Fr. Christopher Odia of St. Michael Catholic Church, Ikabigbo, Etsako West Local Government of Edo State, was killed following his one-day stay in kidnappers den. A vigilante also lost his life in the ensuing rescue effort.

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