Abducted Edo Catholic Priest Shot Dead

Rev. Fr. Christopher Odia, who was kidnapped at his residence in Ikabigbo community, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State, on Sunday morning, has been killed.

He was killed less than 24 hours after Rev Fr. Vitus Borogo, another priest, was murdered on his farmland in Kaduna.

Gunmen had on Sunday morning  invaded Odia’s residence while he was preparing for mass.

Confirming his death, Fr. Peter Egielewa, Director of Social Communications Catholic Diocese of Auchi, said Odia was 41 years old.

“With heavy hearts but with total submission to the will of God, we announce the death of our priest Rev. Fr. Christopher Odia, who was killed by his abductors after being kidnapped this morning 26th June 2022 at about 6.30am in his rectory while coming out to go for Sunday Mass at St. Michael Catholic Church Ikabigbo, Uzairue, Edo State,” he said.

Until his death, Fr Odia was the Administrator of St Michael Catholic Church, Ikabigbo and also the Principal of St. Philip Catholic Secondary School Jattu.

The the priest was killed alongside a hunter,  Nurudeen Umosor. While the corpse of the priest was found by hunters, Nurudeen fell to the kidnappers’ bullets during the mission.

Newsmen had eported how hunters, vigilantes and security operatives combed the forest in search of the victim.

A source said during the search, the kidnappers opened fire but the hunters, vigilante and security operatives carried on for about 10 hours.

It was gathered that two other persons – Sadiku Yaubu and Bernard Tenabe – sustained serious gunshot wounds.

Sadiku was reportedly shot on the shoulder while Bernard’s intestines sprang out as a result of the attack. The duo were reportedly  rushed to the Irrua Specialist Hospital.

A source within the community disclosed that two of the kidnappers were arrested.

Commenting on the incident, Bramah Alegeh, a traditional ruler, said, “They have killed the Priest and my subject. We are waiting for the corpse at the Church, they are bringing the priest corpse to the church”.

Meanwhile, the late Nurudeen has been buried according to Islamic rites.

When contacted, the Edo state police command spokesperson, Chidi Nwabuzor, said he would speak on the development as soon as he gets details.

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