– The rate of abduction for monetary rewards across Nigeria has become a menace and Catholic priests are not left behind in the sudden wave of terror that is now kidnapping
– Report has it that an Italian priest, Maurizo Pallu, abducted in Edo state
– He was kidnapped by unknown gunmen in broad day light
An Italian priest, Maurizo Pallu, was kidnapped on Thursday, October 12 by gunmen in Benin city, Edo state, according to Italian media reports.
The priest was reportedly snatched in broad day light, few days after a professor at the University of Benin was killed right in front of his residence in the state.
“Pope Francis has been informed about the Italian priest Maurizio Pallu kidnapped in Nigeria and he is praying for him,” chief Vatican spokesman Greg Burke wrote on Twitter on Friday, October 13.
Vatican Radio said the 63-year-old priest, who had been stationed in Nigeria for three years, was travelling with a group of four other people when they were attacked and robbed by armed men who took Pallu but let the others go.
The news was confirmed from Nigeria by Abuja Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan who told TV2000, an Italian Catholic TV channel, that “the security forces are doing everything possible to find him.”
“For the moment, we don’t have any good news but we are confident and will continue to hope that Father Maurizio will be freed,” Onaiyekan said.
Similarly, two gunmen, on Sunday, October 15, abducted a Catholic cleric, Timothy Nwanja, of St. Mary’s parish, Okpokueze Nkomoro community in Ebonyi state.
According to sources in the area, the cleric was abducted around 8:30pm on Sunday evening.
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