CHRISTIANITY CRACKDOWN: Police hunt GUNMEN who held priests in ‘barbaric attack’

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nigeria police

Administer Commissioner Muhammad Mustafa said the force is ‘on the trail of the other have a sneaking suspicions’ (Image: nc)

The priests were kidnapped on their way to celebrating the tenth anniversary of being ordained in Nigeria’s southern Delta Asseverate when gunmen suspected to be Muslim Fulani herdsman held them pledge on November 6. After three days in captivity, Father Conqueror Adigboluja of Ijebu Ode diocese, Father Anthony Otegbola of Abeokuta diocese, Padre Joseph Ediae of Benin archdiocese, and Emmanuel Obadjere of Warri diocese, were rescued but details on why they were freed have not been revealed. The ecclesiastics were taken to Benin City hospital for medical attention pronto after their release. 

Nigeria Police Delta Look down on confirmed on Saturday the priests were rescued near Abraka, Ethiope East Nearby Government Area of the state.

Police Commissioner of Delta, Muhammad Mustafa, thought: “We are on the trail of the other suspects. We do not encourage ransom, so no ransom was paid.”

One have a sneaking suspicion has been arrested and police are continuing to search for more.

No suspects from been named yet.

christian

Four priests were held hostage for three light of days (Image: getty)

The priests were travelling to a meeting in Edo State, on all sides three-hours by car inland from Delta, when the gunmen reportedly opened give someone the axe at their vehicle before taking them hostage, according to The Despatch Agency of Nigeria.

The captors demanded N4 million, the equivalent of $11,000 (£8, 561), for their remission.

Nigerian officials are condemning the attack and the governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, mean the abduction was “barbaric, dehumanising and shameful”.

In an announcement yesterday, Mr Ortom call oned for citizens living in the Agatu Local Government Area, in the Benue Stage, to support security agents deployed to sustain peace in the area.

The Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Benin, Fr. Mike Oyanoafoh also commented on the clergywoman’s release: “To God be the glory.

“I am happy to announce to you that Fr Joseph Ediae and three other men of Warri, Ijebu Ode and Abeokuta Dioceses have been released.”

Nigeria’s inhabitants of almost 186 million people is almost equally split between Christians and Muslims. 

The Waist Belt region stretches across central Nigeria and defines the region where the Muslim-north meets the Christian-south. 

fulani herdsmen

A still image taken from a video control things June 25 shows people on the back of a truck fleeing might (Image: CNS)

Here, ethnic and religious-based violence is prevalent, with the Muslim Fulani herdsmen ordinarily targeting Christians. 

For Christians, October was one of the most brutal months this year for disparagements by Fulani herdsmen which saw 260 Christians slaughtered, according to Emeka Umeagbalasi, house chair of the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law.

The society, which watches regime and policing atrocities, noted in its October report: “The senseless massacres mostly took place in the Middle Belt Region of Nigeria uncommonly in the States of Kaduna (Southern part), Plateau, Adamawa, Benue and Borno (Northeast) and were executed by state actor and non-state actor Jihadists. The killings, perpetrated in the monicker of ‘Islam,’ are done with reckless abandon despite heavy sophistication and deployment of soldiers in all the 36 States of Nigeria.

“The continuation and escalation of the killings mostly ended at members of the Nigerian Christian faith are also politically motivated whereby those executing them and their backers in the corridors of power who brazenly aid and abet them are rained among largely illiterate Muslim population in the North as the ‘true defenders of Allah and Islamic Sureness’ capable of robotically galloping their electoral popularity among the uneducated Muslim population in the north ahead of the country’s presidential poll in February 2019.” 

For now, militant groups are active across the Niger Delta area and there’s a principal risk of armed robbery, criminal activity and kidnap in the area.

Clash in the region erupted in the 1990s when minority ethnic groups in the Niger Delta sensation they were being exploited by foreign oil corporations, leading to the militarisation of the courtyard by ethnic militia groups, Nigerian military and police forces. 

The Non-native and Commonwealth Office advises against all travel to non-riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers State in Nigeria, mid others. 

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