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Gunmen Kidnap Catholic Priest, 44 Others In Niger State

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Gunmen suspected to be bandit terrorists have in a fresh attack kidnapped a Christian clergyman, Very Rev Father Leo Raphael Ozigi, in Niger State.

It was reported that the victim is the Priest in charge of St Mary’s Catholic Church in Sarkin Pawa, the Headquarters of Munya Local Government Area of the state.

Naija News learnt that the cleric was abducted on Sunday evening while on his way to Gwada from Sarkin Pawa.

The Priest reportedly ran into bandits who were at the time operating on the Sarkin Pawa-Gwada road.

At least 44 other villagers were whisked away alongside the Catholic priest, Dailytrust reports.

The Secretary, Niger State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Raphael Opawoye, who confirmed the abduction to newsmen said; “Very Rev Dr Leo Raphael Ozigi was kidnapped on Sunday on his way back to Gwada from Sarkin Pawa after the Sunday Service.”

The Secretary, Munya Local Government, James Jagaba, who also confirmed the incident, said the bandits have been operating in the axis unrestricted since Saturday, describing the event as pathetic.

“The entire Munya Local Government is in disarray. The situation in the area is pathetic. There’s kidnap in all part of the local government,” Dailytrust quoted Jagaba as saying.

Interacting also with reporters on the sad development, a resident who identified himself as Shehu Abubakar, said the 44 other people abducted were among those who returned to their communities from IDP camps on Saturday.

He said: “The bandits moved freely on the road from Sarkin Pawa to Gwada unchallenged.

“We are worried because it seems our problem is yet to be over. People have just started returning on Saturday to prepare for yam plantation.

“Government encouraged us to go back to our communities that there was going to be security arrangements. People started returning on Saturday and these criminals invaded us again,” Abubakar told Dailytrust.

Abubakar explained further that the bandit terrorists have been moving freely on the Sarkin Pawa-Gwada road with the herds of cattle they rusted during attacks on communities since on Saturday.