Tragedy struck on Tuesday as gunmen suspected to be herdsmen abducted four catholic priests in Delta state.
The priests were abducted between Agbor and Umutu in Ukwani Local Government Area of the State.
The Catholic Fathers had been on their way to Uhielle in Ekpoma, Edo State, for an alumni meeting when they were kidnapped by the gunmen.
According a source from the Catholic Church, the victims were identified as; Rev Fathers Victor Adigboluja of the Ijebu Ode diocese; Anthony Otegbola, Abeokuta Diocese; Joseph Ediae, Benin Archdiocese; and Emmanuel Obadjere, Warri Diocese.
Confirming the kidnap, the Public Relations Officer for Delta State Police Command, DSP Andrew Aniamaka could however not give accurate details whether the abductions occurred at Delta state or Edo. He did say however that the command was making efforts to get to the root of the matter.
The Punch Newspapers also reported a few hours later that the vehicles in which the Catholic priests had been travelling were recovered by a special team of Anti-Kidnap policemen drafted from both Edo and Delta states.
The abductions wer condemned by the Governor of Benue State through a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, on Wednesday.
Governor Ortom described the abduction of the priests as “barbaric, dehumanising and shameful.”
Samuel Ortom wondered aloud why armed herdsmen had chosen to make harmless clergymen targets of attacks, and stressed that the motive of the perpetrators was more than mere grazing of cattle.
The Governor had pointed out that Benue State was still mourning the murder of two Catholic priests alongside 17 worshippers by herdsmen in Mbalom, Gwer East Local Government Area of the State earlier this year.
He urged security agencies to act swiftly to ensure the release of the kidnapped priests in Delta State as he called on Nigerians to rise in condemnation of persistent attacks on innocent people, especially the Church and its Clergy in Nigeria.