Bandits Abduct Two Relatives in Delta, Reverend Father in Kaduna

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Gunmen at the weekend have abducted two relatives who were travelling to Ekuku-Agbor, Delta State for the burial of their father.

In a similar incident Friday night, Reverend Father Felix Zakari of the St. Ann’s Catholic Church, Zango Tama parish, in Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna was kidnapped by bandits.

The relatives, according to THISDAY findings, were coming to their father’s burial on Friday when the gunmen accosted them and whisked them away.

A family source alleged that the suspected Fulani herdsmen demanded N13 million in ransom.

The source said: “Chukwuyem Afam, a son to late Sunday Afam whose burial was slated for Saturday, March 26 at Ekuku-Agbor, and one of their in-laws, Eric Etunim, who was called up to come and pick up Afam from the train station at Owa Oyibu.

“They were driving to Ekuku-Agbor when they were accosted by kidnappers, they were Fulani herdsmen who shot sporadically into the air, before they were whisked away.

“Chukwuyem travelled down from Abuja on Friday for the burial of his father and called on one of their in-laws, Etunim to pick him up but unfortunately they were kidnapped.

“They had contacted the family with an initial demand of N13 million ransom, which they later brought down to N5 million per person based on their last contact,” the source said.

He noted that the burial ceremony of the late Afam turned into a very painful ordeal as the family members went ahead to bury their father since they had fixed the date amidst anxiety and apprehension.

In response yesterday, the Police Public Relations Officer, Delta State Police Command, Bright Edafe said he was yet to get information as of the time of filing this report.

Edafe, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), said: “I have not gotten information on the incident, I will find out and get back to you.”

In his own case, Zakari was said to be among those abducted by bandits during attacks on the villages.

The church called on all men and women to pray for the safe release of the priest.

This was contained in a statement by the Chancellor, Catholic Diocese of Zaria, Patrict Adikwu Odeh.

The statement read, “We regret to officially announce and confirm the abduction of one of our Priests, Rev. Fr. Felix Zakari Fidson shortly after he left his residence at St Ann’s Zango Tama on his way to the diocesan headquarters on Thursday.

“We call on all men and women of Goodwill to pray for the safe release of Rr. Felix Zakari Fidson and others from the hands of their abductors on this day of the solemnity of the annunciation.

“Through the intercession of our Lady, the Mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and our mother. May our brother, Rev. Father Felix Zakari Fidson, and others return to us safe and sound.”

Bandits had attacked nine communities in Giwa Local government area of Kaduna State, killing no fewer than 50 people and kidnapping scores of others.

 A member of a vigilante group in the area, Mansur Ibrahim, told Saturday Tribune that the bandits also burnt houses and destroyed vehicles in the affected communities.

According to Ibrahim, about 100 cows were also stolen by the hoodlums.

He listed the affected communities as Dillalai, Zango Tama, Kaya, Barebari, Anguwan Bakko, Gidan Alhajin Kida, Kadanya and Durumi.

Dillalai, he said, was the worst-hit in the attacks as it accounted for about 15 of the murdered victims while about five trucks and five houses were burnt there. He said the bandits burnt down a church in Zangon Tama.

According to him, those who sustained injuries were currently receiving treatment at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria.

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