By George Okoh In Makurdi
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has condemned the abduction of four Catholic Priests by suspected herdsmen in Umutu/Abraka, Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State.
Governor Ortom, in a press statement signed by his Press Secretary Mr Terver Akase, said the abduction of the four reverend fathers was barbaric, dehumanising and shameful.
He wondered why armed men had chosen to make harmless clergymen targets of attacks and said the motive of the perpetrators was clearly beyond mere grazing of cattle.
Ortom said the people of Benue State were still mourning the killing of two Catholic Priests and 17 worshippers by herdsmen in Mbalom, Gwer East Local Government Area of the State, earlier this year.
He urged security agencies to act swiftly to secure the release of the kidnapped priests in Delta State.
He called on other Nigerians to rise in condemnation of persistent attacks on innocent people, particularly the current spate of violence against clerics. He stated that herdsmen who sack communities and claim ancestral lands belonging to the people were threatening the existence of Nigeria.
The governor said activities of armed herdsmen, if not checked, will affect the smooth conduct of the 2019 elections in parts of the country.
“The government and people of Benue State are standing in prayers with the Catholic Dioceses of Benin, Warri and Abuja where the four abducted priests came from,” he said.