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Abductors of Delta cleric want N20m ransom

*We’ll get them, rescue victim—POLICE 

By Festus Ahon

ASABA—THREE days after Rev. Fr. Jude Onyebadi, Parish Priest of SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Issele-Azagba, Delta State, was kidnapped by suspected herdsmen, the abductors have reportedly demanded a N20 million ransom.

The cleric, it was gathered, was kidnapped by three gunmen last Friday at his pineapple farm located between Ubulu-Uku and Issele-Uku communities.

The kidnappers, sources said, dragged Onyebadi into the bush, leaving behind his SUV.

A source said the kidnappers established contact with the cleric’s friend, making an initial demand of N50 million, later reduced to N20 million after negotiations.

Confirming the incident, Director of Communications of the Catholic Diocese of Issele-Uku, Rev. Fr. Charles Uganwa, appealed to the conscience of the abductors to release the cleric unhurt and unconditionally.

He said the church would not pay ransom to any kidnapper, since the church does not encourage the payment of ransom to criminals. He held that the act would only serve to increase criminality in the society.

Reacting yesterday, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Andrew Aniamaka, said the abducted cleric would soon be rescued unhurt. He enjoined the church and all those connected with him to cooperate with security operatives.

He said: “We are combing the bushes and, very soon, he will be freed. I can assure you that we are monitoring the kidnappers, who keep shifting from one location to the other. But no matter how they may try to hide, we will get them.

“We are not just going to rescue the victim, we will also ensure that the hoodlums are arrested and brought to book.”



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