Catholic Priest, Cook, Others Abducted in Kaduna

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Police rescue eight kidnap victims

By John Shiklam

A Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Anthony Dawah; his cook; the Catechist’s wife and unspecified number of people have reportedly been abducted by bandits in Kushe Makaranta village, Kagarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

But in another incident, the state police command said it had rescued eight kidnap victims and recovered an AK-49 rifle from bandits.

The abductions came barely four days after eight members of the Redeem Christian Church of God (RCCG), were kidnapped by gunmen on Friday last week, along the Kaduna- Kachia road.

The latest incident was said to have occurred at about 2am yesterday when the hoodlums invaded the community.

Kaduna State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Joseph Hayap, who confirmed the incident in a telephone interview said, “Reverend Father Dawah was kidnapped in the early hours of the day (Tuesday), around 2am, along with his cook, the Catechist’s wife and some other people around”

Hayap said another incident of kidnapping had occurred on Sunday in Kachia, adding that

“the Catholic Church in Kachia will come up with details.”

Speaking further, Hayab said the abducted Catholic priest “was supposed to have come to Kaduna town, from Kagarko , but he said he had a mass this morning and promised to come after the mass.

“That mass could not be conducted as he was Kidnapped.”

Hayab added that the clergyman was “still with the bandits now, adding that they have not called back to give details of the whereabouts of the Priest and others who were Kidnaped”.

Spokesman of the Kaduna State Police Command, Muhammad Jalige did not respond to telephone calls when contacted.

In another incident, the state police command said it had rescued eight kidnap victims and recovered an AK-49 rifle from bandits.

Spokesman of the command, Jalige, who disclosed this in a statement issued yesterday, said the

victims were abducted sometimes on February 28, along Zaria –Kaduna expressway aboard a luxurious bus on their way to Delta State.

He said the bandits were intercepted on Monday by the police during a patrol along Galidamawa/Kidandan area of Giwa Local Government Area of the state.

According to Jalige, “On March 29, 2021 at about 0600hrs men of Operation Puff Adder II attached to Kaduna (Police) Command, while on routine patrol along Galidamawa/Kidandan area of Giwa LGA, intercepted a group of armed bandits alongside some victims in their possession.

“On sighting the (police) operatives they took to their heels abandoning their victims and one AK-49 rifle and in the process eight kidnap victims were rescued unhurt”.

The statement said the eight people rescued, including a female are: Bala Ibrahim, Gloria Ede (from Ebonyi state), Japheth Sani (Kebbi State, Kinsley Edgbue (Delta State), Anthony Okafor (Anambra State, Gabriel Agu (Anambra State), Chibuzo Nwokorie (Anambra state) and Ifeanyi Samuel (from Enugu State.)

Jalige said, “the victims later stated that they were abducted along Zaria –Kaduna expressway aboard a luxurious bus on February 28, 2021 in route Delta State.”

He said the rescued persons were receiving medical attention in preparation for reunion with their families. According to him, the police “is in hot pursue of the fleeing bandits”, adding that, “that the police command “under the leadership of CP UM Muri is in appreciation of the gesture and robust support rendered by the Inspector General of Police for deploying men and resources to compliment the efforts of the command in tackling armed banditry in the state.”