Another priest in Nigeria has been abducted by gunmen, who are reportedly demanding a ransom for the pastor’s release.
Father Christopher Ogaga, who is the priest of Emmanuel Catholic Church in the Okpe local government area of the Delta state, was kidnapped Saturday night while on his way to Warri, where he was to help another priest lead a mass.
Sources close to Ogaga told the Nigerian Tribune that they believe he was kidnapped along the route from his home to Warri, specifically along Arava-Oviri-Orere-Okpe Road. The pastor was said to have left his house around 10 p.m.
“We are suspecting that he might have been kidnapped along this route,” a source was quoted as saying. “He was driving alone when the incident happened because he usually travels to Warri alone on Sundays.”
Ogaga is also the principal of St. Peters Clavers College in Aghalokpe. He also helps oversee St. Luke’s Catholic Church in Oviri Okpe and St. Jude’s Catholic Church in Aghalopke
The priest’s abduction was reportedly confirmed by Muhammad Mustapha, the state commissioner or police. Mustapha told media outlets that authorities are on the search for the pastor and his kidnappers.
One source who spoke to Vanguard on the condition of anonymity explained that the abductors have reached out to the church to demand a ransom equivalent to just over $40,000.
“[W]e are on the trail of the hoodlums and I assure you that he would be rescued and the hoodlums arrested,” the source vowed.
Ogaga’s abduction came just hours before another Catholic church in the Okpe local government area collapsed. One child was killed and at least 11 others were injured. The collapse of the over 100-year-old church building was blamed on a structural collapse aided by the congregation’s attempt to expand and rebuild the church.
Ogaga’s abduction follows the abduction of other pastors throughout Nigeria in recent months.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith