Uneasy calm in Benue over kidnapped Catholic priest

There has been an uneasy calm in Benue South Senatorial district following the abduction of the Vicar General of Catholic Diocese of Otukpo, Rev. Fr. John Adeyi.
The clergyman was kidnapped last Sunday evening around Okwungaga village in Okpokwu local government area of the state while returning from an outstation assignment.
Adeyi’s abduction happened barely a week after the release of a medical doctor, Godwin Abah, who was kidnapped at his private health facility in Otukpo.
Abah, a medical consultant with the Federal Medical Centre,Makurdi, was said to have regained his freedom shortly after his family paid N3million ransom to his kidnappers.
Sadly, there have been several reported cases in recent times, of kidnap or attempted abduction of perceived rich people, especially in Okpokwuand Otukpo, two of the nine local government areas in Benue South senatorial district,as known as Zone C.
Family sources said the abductors of the clergyman, who is also the parish priest of St. Bernard Catholic Church, Okpoga, headquarters of in Okpokwu, had promptly demanded for N25 million ransom which they later reduced to N10 million.
Adeyi’simmediate elder sister, Mrs. Mercy Adeyi-Onah said at the time of this report that the family had been in contact with the kidnappers who have cut their demand to N3 million.
“We are praying and communicating with the abductors. We pray that we will be able to lay our hands on the money and give to them for the release of our brother. His life means much more to us than the money they are asking for,” she said.
Mrs. Adeyi-Onah explained that the family was also in touch with the church which hasmobilised a search party into the bushes around the area where the priest was abducted to seek for his rescue.
Daily Trust learnt that the kidnappers intercepted thecleric’s vehicle and at gunpoint brushed aside his driver, seized Adeyiand whisked him away.
The area where the priest was abducted was enmeshed in violence that nearly snowballed into a communal clash only a week ago as suspected hoodlums hacked innocent citizens to death.
Benue State police spokesman, Moses Yamu, who confirmed the kidnapping, said he was not aware of any ransom demand, adding that the police were working round the clock to rescue the priest unharmed.
Meanwhile, the worrisome development has propelled the umbrella body of the Idoma people, the Opiatoha K’ Idoma, to appeal to security agencies in the state and their high command to ensure the early release of the clergyman in good health condition.
The body has also condemned the rising spate of kidnappings in the Benue South while admonishing those providing a haven for criminals in Idomaland to desist forthwith or else they too would be treated as criminals.
The group’s secretary-general, AdokaAdaji, who reacted swiftly to Adeyi’s abduction, noted that the new wave of crime in Idoma land was worrisome and urged security agencies to nib the trend in the bud.
“All should wake up and ensure that Idomaland is not turned into a criminal society overnight. The Idoma man is known for hardwork and not criminality,” he stressed.
Uneasy calm in Benue over kidnapped Catholic priest Uneasy calm in Benue over kidnapped Catholic priest Reviewed by Link Naija on 01:55:00 Rating: 5

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