Armed bandits have abducted the Catholic Parish Priest of St Mary’s Catholic Church, Sarkin Pawa, Munya Local Government Area of Niger State, Very Rev Father Leo Raphael Ozigi, and 44 other villagers.
According to the reports, Secretary, Niger State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Raphael Opawoye, who confirmed the incident, said the Catholic priest was abducted on his way to Gwada from Sarkin Pawa when he ran into bandits operating on the Sarkin Pawa-Gwada road, who whisked him away alongside other villagers.
“Very Rev Dr. Leo Raphael Ozigi was kidnapped on Sunday on his way back to Gwada from Sarkin Pawa after the Sunday Service,” he said.
The Secretary, Munya Local Government, James Jagaba, said the bandits had earlier occupied six communities in the Local Government at the weekend, forcing residents to flee.
While describing the situation as pathetic, Jagaba said; “the entire Munya Local Government is in disarray. The situation in the area is pathetic. There’s kidnap in all parts of the local government.”
Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani-Bello, last week, announced that new security chiefs have been posted to the state to consolidate on the ongoing offensive against criminals in the state.
The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, did not respond to calls when reached for comments.