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Gunmen abduct Catholic priest in Abia

Gunmen abduct Catholic priest in Abia
October 13
19:47 2021

Gunmen have abducted Godfrey Chimezie, a Catholic priest, in Abia state.

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According to NAN, eyewitnesses said the priest was returning to his parish after attending morning mass at St. Gabriel Catholic Church, Okpururie, Afaraukwu, when the gunmen attacked him.

“The kidnappers forced him out of his Toyota Corolla car and bundled him into their SUV jeep and escaped,” a resident of the area, who chose to be anonymous, said.

A senior priest in Umuahia Catholic Diocese also confirmed the incident to NAN, adding that Chimezie was ordained earlier in the year.

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Similarly, on Wednesday, gunmen were said to have abducted a lady at a petrol station on Aba road, near Madonna Catholic Hospital in Umuahia, the Abia capital.

Godfrey Ogbonna, the state police spokesman, said the command has not received a formal report on the abduction of the priest.

He, however, confirmed the kidnap of the lady.

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According to him, the woman was reportedly attacked as she was driving out of the filling station, after which she was taken away by the gunmen.

Ogbonna said it was not yet clear if the two incidents were carried out by the same gang, but added that the command had begun investigation into the abduction of the female victim.

He advised the church authorities to make a formal report on the kidnap of the priest at any police station around the scene of the incident.

“This is to enable the command to commence investigation with a view to rescuing the victim,” he said.

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The two incidents were said to have sparked off panic among residents, who expressed fear that the trend might continue if not nipped in the bud.

Kingsley Onyemuche, a resident, expressed concern over the security situation in the area.

“We have never recorded such dastardly acts in one day in Umuahia. This place has been quiet and devoid of violent crime for some time now. But these two cases in one day have put so much fear in every resident,” he said.

“Abia government and security agencies should take urgent steps to tackle this ugly development and threat to security of lives and property.”

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