AFRICA/NIGERIA - Two other Catholic priests kidnapped

Monday, 4 July 2022 kidnappings   priests  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - Two other priests have been kidnapped in Nigeria. They are Fr. Peter Udo, from St. Patrick's Parish, Uromi, and Fr. Philemon Oboh, from St. Joseph's Retreat Center, Ugboha, Esan Local Government Area, Edo State, Southern Nigeria.
According to the Edo State Police, the two priests were abducted on July 2 and taken to an unknown location by kidnappers who blocked their car on the Benin-Auchi highway between the communities of Ehor and Iruekpen. The two priests were returning from Benin City when their car was blocked by the bandits, who allegedly fired shots into the air to force the car to stop. Police say they have sent officers to the area "to carry out an aggressive and well-coordinated manhunt" of the kidnappers and to free the two priests. Just a week ago, in the state of Edo, another priest, Father Christopher Odia Ogedegbe, was killed in an attempted kidnapping on Sunday June 26, when he was on his way to celebrate mass in Auchi (see Fides, 27/6/2022).
Another Catholic priest, Fr. Vitus Borogo, was killed on June 25 on his farm in Kaduna, in northwestern Nigeria. At his funeral, 700 priests peacefully protested demanding greater security for themselves and for all Nigerian citizens (see Fides, 1/7/2022). Kidnapping for ransom is now one of the dominant crimes in several Nigerian cities: politicians, businessmen, religious figures and anyone with money, including schoolchildren from relatively well-off families, are easy targets for bandits. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 4/7/2022)