December 24, 2022
The Benue State Police Command on Friday said it had begun a manhunt for the abductors of a Catholic priest of Otukpo Diocese in the state, Fr Mark Ojotu.
Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers had abducted Ojotu, said to be the Chaplain of St. Mary’s Hospital, Okpoga, in the Okpokwu Local Government Area of the state.
He was said to have been kidnapped along Okpoga-Ojapo Road at about 5pm on Thursday.
However, the Police Public Relations Officer in the, Catherine Anene, said officers from the command were on the trail of the kidnappers.
“Incident confirmed and the command is on the trail of the priest and hoodlums involved,” Anene said in a terse message sent to our correspondent.
Earlier, the diocesan secretariat, in a letter signed by the Chancellor, Fr Joseph Itodo, confirmed the abduction.
The letter read, “We write to notify you of the kidnap of one of our priests, Rev. Fr. Mark Ojotu. He is the Chaplain of St. Mary’s Hospital, Okpoga. The sad incident occurred today (Thursday), December 22, 2022, at about 5pm along Okpoga-Ojapo Road, Okpokwu LGA, Benue State.
“The Local Ordinary, Most Rev. Michael Ekwoyi Apochi, has called on all Christ’s faithful in the Catholic Diocese of Otukpo and beyond to earnestly pray for his quick and safe release as we intensify efforts to ensure his release.
“We commend our brother and all those in the kidnappers’ den throughout the country to the powerful intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary for their speedy and safe release from the hands of their abductors.”