Metro & Crime

Bandits kill Catholic priest, kidnap brother, 17 others in Niger

…killings are unfortunate, says CAN


Bandits on Friday night abducted and killed a Catholic Priest of the Diocese of Minna, Rev Father John Gbakaan Yaji, at Tufa village on Lambata-Lapai Road, Niger State.


On Saturday night, gunmen abducted 17 people in three communities in Bassa/Kukoki ward of Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State. It was learnt that five people each were abducted from Wongo and Marenje communities while about seven people were abducted from Madagwa.


The Reverend Father was said to be returning from Lambata where he had attended a religious meeting along with his colleagues. Yaji was kidnapped and killed on his way back to his station. He was kidnapped along with his younger brother.


But at press time, the whereabouts of the younger brother were unknown. The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Wasiu Abiodun, could not be reached for confirmation but a Reverend of the Catholic Diocese, who craved anonymity, confirmed the story. He said: “We lost our brother to the kidnappers and we can only pray that his soul will be with the Lord.”


In a swift response, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Niger State chapter, described the abduction and killing as unfortunate and painful.


Speaking with the New Tele  graph on the phone, the state Chairman of CAN, Revd. Mathias Echioda, said “these attacks are unfortunate and we should not base them as religious but we should all come together to put an end to banditry.


And I know God who answers prayers will deliver us from the hands of the wicked”. The Co-convener, Concerned Shiroro Youths, Sani Abubakar Yusuf Kokki, said the whereabouts of the victims were not known yet. He described the abductions as disheartening and unfortunate.


According to him, it is unfair that the locals have been left to their fate. He said: “Kidnappings and other related criminal activities have become the order of the day in the entire Rafi and Shiroro local governments areas of Niger State.”


Last Thursday, 20 people from Duguru in Madaka Ward of Rafi Local Government Area, Niger State, who were on their way to Madaka market, were kidnapped by bandits




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