Some unknown gunmen have kidnapped a Catholic priest, Reverend Father Mark Ojotu, along Okpoga-Ojapo road in Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue State.
It was reported that Ojotu, who is the Chaplain of St. Mary’s Hospital, Okpoga in Okpokwu LGA, was abducted on Thursday, December 22, 2022.
The Catholic Diocese of Otukpo in a letter from the Diocesan Secretariat addressed to all Priests, Religious and Lay Faithful by the Diocesan Chancellor, Reverend Father Joseph Aboyi, confirmed the abduction of the priest.
“We write to notify you of the kidnap of one of our priests, Rev. Fr. Mark Ojotu. He is the Chaplain of St. Mary’s Hospital, Okpoga. The sad incident occurred today (Thursday) December 22, 2022 at about 5pm along Okpoga – Ojapo Road, Okpokwu LGA, Benue State.
“The Local Ordinary, Most Rev. Michael Ekwoyi Apochi, has called on all Christ’s Faithful in the Catholic Diocese of Otukpo and beyond to earnestly pray for his quick and safe release as we intensify efforts to ensure his release.
“We commit our brother and all those in the kidnappers’ den throughout the country to the powerful intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary for their speedy and safe release from the hands of their abductors,” the letter stated.
In a related development, gunmen have also set ablaze buildings belonging to the Anambra State Deputy Speaker, Pascal Agbodike and one of the traditional rulers in the state.
Also, two buildings belonging to the President-General of Osumoghu, Nze Denis Muomaife were not spared.
As a result, stakeholders from Anambra South senatorial zone and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), met in the state over the 2023 general elections.
The importance of the meeting was the issue of voter education and how to review the security situation in the state.
The state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Queen Elizabeth Agwu, asked the stakeholders whether elections would be held in those communities because of their current volatile state.
In his response, the President-General, Osumoghu community in Nnewi South, Denis Muomaife, said that two of his buildings were burnt two weeks ago by some unknown persons.
“Not only that, the house of the traditional ruler of the community and that of the Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly representing Ihiala II Constituency were equally set ablaze,” he said.