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Gunmen kidnap Priest, woman in Ekiti, Osun

By Michael Ofulue & Victor Akinkuolie

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The Parish Priest of Saint George’s Catholic Church, Omu Ekiti in Oye Local Government, Reverend Father Michael Olofinlade has been  reportedly kidnapped by unknown gunmen.

The Hope Metro gathered that the priest was kidnapped on Saturday evening while returning from Ado-Ekiti, where he had gone to attend a meeting held  at the Catholic Diocese, in Ado-Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State.

According to a source in the area, the cleric who was driving in his car along Iye road was waved down at a damaged portion of the raod  by the heavily armed gunmen who shot sporadically severally before he was whisked away into the bush and later led to unknown destination.

The source said the abduction of the cleric almost marred the Holy Mass in the area.

The source said the kidnappers were yet to contact the family, but the local hunters and men of Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN) have been mobilised to the area to begin a search operation for the abducted catholic cleric.

Similarly, the Owajumu of Omu-Ekiti, Oba Adeyeye Ogundeyi, who confirmed the abduction of the cleric, said security agencies and local hunters have launched a manhunt to rescue the Reverend Father.

The monarch said he was in his palace at about 6:30pm on the fateful day, when he was informed that unidentified gunmen had abducted the catholic priest.

Confirming the development, the Commandant Amatekun Corps in Ekiti State, Brigadier Joe Komolafe, explained that men of the security corps have been dispatched and are already combing the forest being used for hostage by the abductors to ensure the release of the cleric unhurt.

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When asked if there was any negotiation between the relatives of the cleric and the suspected kidnappers, Komolafe said he was not aware of any negotiation. But he assured that every security measures would be put in place to ensure the priest regain his freedom.

In a related incident, some yet to-be-identified gunmen have kidnapped a 51-year-old woman, Mrs Oluwatoyin Gbemisola Ojo in Osogbo, Osun State capital.

The Hope Metro gathered that the woman was abducted on Friday, at her residence located in Landero Street Technical College Area Osogbo around 10:30 pm and taken to an unknown destination.

Confirming the incident to our correspondent in Osogbo on Sunday, the Amotekun Field Commander, Comrade Amitolu Shittu, said the corps had began searching for the kidnapped victim.

According to Amitolu, Mrs Ojo was kidnapped at her residence located around Technical College Area, Osogbo around 10:30 pm on Friday, January 13th, 2023 by unknown gunmen.

Shittu further explained that he received a distress call at around 1:15 am midnight on Saturday from the victim’s husband, Mr. Ojo Oluwasanmi Festus, a staff of NNPC Warri Depot about his wife’s disappearance.

He said the Amotekun operatives swung into action immediately, in search of the victim, while he assured the inhabitants of the state that the kidnapped victim will be rescued.

The Amotekun boss said they have intensified efforts to rescue the kidnapped victim.

According to him, the criminals that perpetrated the act will be apprehended and brought to book.

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