Gunmen have kidnapped a Catholic priest, Rev Fr Mark Ojotu, in Benue State, on a highway.
Ojotu, who is the Chaplain of St Mary’s Hospital, Okpoga in Okpokwu LGA, was abducted on Thursday evening on Okpoga-Ojapo road in Okpokwu.
The Catholic Diocese of Otukpo in a letter from its secretariat addressed to all priests, religious and lay faithful by the Diocesan Chancellor, Rev Fr Joseph Aboyi, said, “The Local Ordinary, Most Rev Michael Ekwoyi Apochi, has called on all Christ’s faithful in the Catholic Diocese of Otukpo and beyond to earnestly pray for his quick and safe release as we intensify efforts to ensure his release.
“We commend our brother and all those in kidnappers’ dens throughout the country to the powerful intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary for their speedy and safe release from the hands of their abductors.”
Our correspondent reports that the abduction of priests, as well as other commuters plying the route, had become common in the area, even as five months ago another priest, Rev Fr Peter Amodu, was kidnapped on his way to celebrate Mass at Okwungaga in the same Okpokwu LGA, but later regained his freedom.
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Meanwhile, police spokesperson in the state, SP Catherine Anene, confirmed to newsmen that the command was on the trail of the priest and hoodlums involved.