Another Catholic Priest and Chaplain of St. Mary’s Hospital, Okpoga in Okpokwu Local Government Area, LGA, of Benue state, Rev. Fr. Mark Ojotu has been abducted by unknown gunmen.
The cleric was kidnapped on Thursday evening along Okpoga – Ojapo road along the Okpoga – Utonkon road
The abduction of the Priest on that axis of the state which has become notorious for the kidnap of commuters came about five months after another Priest, Rev. Fr. Peter Amodu was in a similar fashion waylaid and taken away and later released by armed men along Otukpo – Ugbokolo road while on his way to celebrate the Holy Mass at Okwungaga in the same Okpokwu LGA.
The latest incident was confirmed Thursday night by the Catholic Diocese of Otukpo in a letter from the Diocesan Secretariat addressed to all Priests, Religious and Lay Faithful by the Diocesan Chancellor, Rev. Fr. Joseph Aboyi.
The letter read in part, “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 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.”
Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent, SP, Catherine Anene who confirmed the incident in a text massage said “the command is on the trail of the priest and hoodlums involved.”