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Bandits abduct Catholic Priest in Kaduna

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-As troops neutralise 5, destroy camps

 

Ibrahim Quadri with agency report

 

Bandits again struck on Sunday and abducted the presiding priest, Rev. Father Gabriel Ukeh of St. Thomas Parish, Zaman Dabo Community, in the Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

The parish priest was said to have been abducted at the parish rectory.

The Vicar General (Pastoral), Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Kazah, disclosed this in a press statement.

The statement read in part, “While we solicit for fervent prayers for his urgent and safe release, we equally condemn this act of incessant kidnappings for ransom of innocent and defenceless citizens of our communities, and we call upon the government to horn its security intelligence as we approach the celebration of Sallah.

“As we work with security operatives for his quick release, we wish to call on all to stay away from taking the laws into their hands. We will use every legitimate means to ensure that Father comes back to us safe and sound.

“Through the intercessions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Priests and Religious, may Jesus the crucified hearken to our prayers and hasten the unconditional release of His Priest and every other abducted person.”

Meanwhile, troops and Special Forces of Operation Whirl Punch (OPWP) conducting special fighting patrols in the Kachia-Kajuru axis of Kaduna State have neutralized five bandits in Dantarau general area of Kajuru Local Government Area of the state.

This is contained in a statement issued on Sunday by the State Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, about the troops operations to clear the Maro-Enugu axis spanning Kachia and Kajuru LGAs.

According to Aruwan, the troops engaged the bandits at Dantarau community and after a sharp exchange of gunfire, five of the criminals were neutralized, Channels TV reports.

The troops also recovered two AK-47 rifles, one locally fabricated sub-machine gun, nine AK-47 magazines, 250 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, two motorcycles and two handheld radio sets from the bandits.

Similarly, the Air Component of Operation Whirl Punch successfully hit bandits camps in Sabon Birnin Daji general area of Igabi Local Government Area.

Human intelligence sources confirmed the successful operation resulting in several bandits taken out during the mission.

Some of the bandits sustained injuries and are reported to be lurking around the general area in need of medical support.

Aruwan, therefore, warned residents of the Igabi general area to desist from providing medical support to questionable individuals without recourse to the nearest security agencies.

In his reaction, the Kaduna State Governor, Senator Uba Sani, has expressed  satisfaction over the breakthrough and lauded the troops – under the leadership of the General Officer Commanding, 1 Division Nigerian Army, Major General Mariyenso Saraso, for their determined efforts.

The governor further extended his commendation to the Air Officer Commanding, Air Training Command, Air Vice Marshall Nnamdi Ananaba, and his team, for the outstanding contribution to the security of the state.

The governor urged the military to keep up the momentum of operations.

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