Rev Father Leo Raphael Ozigi, the Catholic Parish priest of St Mary’s Catholic Church, Sarkin Pawa, the headquarters of Munya Local Government Area of Niger State, and 44 other people were reportedly taken by bandits who stormed the area on Sunday evening.
Our correspondent learned that the Rev Father was kidnapped while traveling from Sarkin Pawa to Gwada when he came across robbers working on the Sarkin Pawa-Gwada road, who took him and other locals with them.
Pastor Raphael Opawoye, Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria’s Niger State Chapter, verified the Rev Father’s kidnapping.
“On his way back to Gwada from Sarkin Pawa after the Sunday Service, Very Rev Dr Leo Raphael Ozigi was kidnapped,” he claimed.
The increased banditry operations in Munya Local Government since Saturday have been termed as sad by James Jagaba, the Secretary of Munya Local Government.
“The entire Munya Local Government is in shambles,” he claimed. The situation is appalling in the neighborhood. Kidnapping is rampant across the local government.”
Shehu Abubakar, a local resident, told our correspondent that 44 additional abducted people were among those who returned to their communities on Saturday from IDP camps.
“The bandits were uncontested on the way from Sarkin Pawa to Gwada.
“We are concerned since it appears that our situation is not yet resolved. On Saturday, people began returning to prepare for the yam plantation.
“The government encouraged us to return to our communities, assuring us that security precautions would be made.” On Saturday, people began to return, and the crooks attacked us once more,” he stated.
Abubakar bemoaned the fact that robbers have been moving unfettered on the Sarkin Pawa-Gwada road with herds of livestock they seized during raids on communities since Saturday.