Iniquity in the house of “The Lord”

The gunmen who abducted a Catholic Priest in Delta on Friday last week have demanded N20m as ransom.

Fr. Jude Onyebadi, the Parish Priest of SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Issele-Azagba, was allegedly abducted by three gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen at his pineapple farm located between Ubulu-Uku and Issele-Uku communities.

Sources close to the priest told our correspondent on Monday that the captors had established contact with church and made their demands known even as the police command in the state claimed its personnel were closing in on the suspects.

Eyewitnesses said the hoodlums stormed the farm command-style and immediately went for the cleric, and dragged him into the bush and whisked him away to unknown destination.

One of the sources said, “Father was kidnapped by three armed men who were dressed and looked like Fulani herdsmen. Before help could come he had already been dragged into the bush from where we have not heard from him till today (Monday). They ignored his sports utility vehicle at the farm during the operation that lasted few minutes.”

It was gathered that the captors initially demanded N50m.

The Director of Communications of the Diocese, Rev. Fr. Charles Uganwa, confirmed the incident and appealed to the abductors to release his colleague unconditionally.

The Spokesman of the Delta State Police Command, DSP Andrew Aniamaka, while confirming the abduction of the priest gave the assurance that cleric would soon be freed.

He said, “We are combing the bushes and very soon, he will be freed. I can assure you that we are monitoring the kidnappers who keep shifting from one location to the other, but no matter how they may try to hide, we will get them.”

Fr. Onyebadi owns one of the biggest commercial pineapple farms in the state – where he trains people and awards scholarship to students.

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