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Gunmen Abduct Catholic Priest and Three Others in Ebonyi State: Urgent Investigation Underway

In a distressing incident on Monday, gunmen targeted a Catholic priest, Reverend Father Joseph Azubuike, along with three unidentified individuals in Ebonyi State. Reverend Azubuike serves as the parish priest of St. Charles Parish, located in Mgbaleze village, Isu community, within the Onicha Local Government Area.The Chancellor of the Abakaliki Diocese, Reverend Father Mathew Opoke, issued a statement on Tuesday, confirming the occurrence of the abduction. According to Reverend Opoke, Reverend Azubuike was seized in close proximity to his parish while returning from evangelical duties. The kidnappers promptly established contact with the Diocese, demanding an undisclosed sum of money as ransom.In part, the statement read, “We kindly request your prayers for the safe and unconditional release of Very Reverend Father Joseph Azubuike, who was abducted on Monday, July 10, 2023, near his parish after fulfilling his pastoral duties. Alongside him, three other individuals were also abducted. While the abductors have made financial demands, we trust that your prayers will help ensure their prompt and unconditional return.”The Ebonyi State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, acknowledged receiving the report of the kidnapping and confirmed that an investigation is currently underway. The authorities are diligently working to gather information and resolve the situation.This distressing incident adds to the growing concern over security challenges in the region, with the abduction of a prominent religious figure further highlighting the urgency of addressing the issue. The community remains hopeful for the swift and safe return of the victims, relying on the collective prayers and concerted efforts of law enforcement agencies.


Ademola Adeyemi

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