.Shot mass servants survives as Church mourns
By Ozioruva Aliu, BENIN CITY
THE abducted Catholic priest in Ikhabigbo, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State, Rev. Fr. Christopher Odia has been reportedly killed by his abductors just as the mass servant earlier reported to have died has reportedly survived the gunshots and just emerged from the theater at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH).
Meanwhile brave youths who chased the kidnappers were able to apprehend one of the suspected kidnappers who in the cause of the confrontations injured several persons including a woman said to have been hit by a stray bullet but survived it.
A leader of the community who did not want his name mentioned for security reasons said late last night that “Our boys pursued the kidnappers into the bush and they killed one of our boys but the mass servant who was shot is in Otibhor (ISTH) right now and he just came out of the theater and he survived it, it was the vigilante that died. Our boys went after them and were able to arrest one of the kidnappers who has confessed to the crime and he is presently at the Area Command of the Police in Auchi.
After the incident, our boys surrounded the area and they started shooting anybody, they even shot a woman that was coming from the farm after they killed the vigilante member, they shot so many people. Everybody in our village is a warrior, when they killed the vigilante, the people mobilized and started pursuing the kidnappers with their bare hands.”
Meanwhile a statement by the Director of Social Communications, Catholic Diocese of Auchi, Rev. Fr. Peter Egielewa while announcing the killing of Fr. Odia said “With heavy hearts but with total submission to the will of God, we announce the death of our priest Rev. Fr. Christopher Odia, who was killed by his abductors after being kidnapped this morning 26th June 2022 at about 6.30am in his rectory while coming out to go for Sunday Mass at St. Michael Catholic Church Ikabigbo, Uzairue, Edo State.
“Until his death, Fr Odia was the Administrator of St Michael Catholic Church, Ikabigbo and also the Principal of St. Philip Catholic Secondary School Jattu. He was aged 41. May his soul rest in peace.
“Burial arrangements will be announced by the Diocese later.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Chidi Nwabuzor while confirming the developments, said he was expecting detailed briefing from the police in the area