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Gunmen kill two, abduct Catholic priest in Kano, Benue

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Unknown gunmen yesterday attacked Bagwai town in Bagwai Local Council of Kano State, killing two persons and leaving scores injured.The mayhem, which occurred around 10.30pm on Monday night, reportedly claimed the son of the zonal woman leader of the People Democratic Party (PDP) North, Hajia Balaraba Sani.

An eyewitness, Mohammadu Bogwai, told The Guardian that another young man, Muhammad, 35, and a staff of the Health Department in the council area were also among those killed in the unfortunate incident.

The state police command, which confirmed the killings via its spokesman, DSP Abdullahi Haruna, said CP Habu Sani had deployed men and officers of the Puff Adder team in the area for manhunt and possible arrest of the perpetrators.

In a related development, unidentified assailants have again abducted the parish priest of Otukpo Catholic Diocese, Reverend Father David Echioda, in Benue State.

The cleric, who hails from Oshugbudu in Agatu council area of the state, was kidnapped while returning from a Sunday mass at Untokom in Ado Local Council of the same North Central state.

A source, Ankeli Amanyi, told The Guardian on phone that Echioda was seized along Alla-Akpa highway after the service.According to him, the cleric ran into his captors in the afternoon, confiscating his mobile phones before taking him in his car to an unknown destination.

His words: “Rev. Fr. Echioda was returning from Ado on Sunday and on reaching Alla-Akpa in Otukpo local government area, some boys stopped him. They first collected all his phones and immediately smashed them to pieces.

“Then one motorcyclist (Okada rider), who ran into the scene, was stopped and ordered to drive them in the cleric’s vehicle. It was while the Okada boy was trying to park his motorcycle that he jumped into the bush and escaped. It was the Okada boy that came to break the news to the Bishop House in Otukpo.

“As I speak with you, the kidnappers are yet to open contact with anyone while his (priest) whereabouts remain unknown.”Contacted, the Director of Information in the diocese, Rev. Fr. John Okopopu, confirmed the development, reiterating that the priest was returning from a missionary work when he was abducted.

Also, the Police Public Relations Officer for the state command, DSP Catherine Anene, confirmed the abduction.Recall that the Vicar General of the diocese and parish priest of St. Bernard Catholic Church, Ugwu Okpoga in Okpokwu council area of the state, Rev. Father John Adeyi, was a few years ago kidnapped and later killed by his abductors.


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