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Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Gunmen kill Catholic priest in Enugu

Gunmen kill Catholic priest in Enugu

Gunmen have killed a Catholic priest, Reverend Father Clement Ugwu who was said to have been kidnapped from his Parish, St Mark Catholic Church, Obinofia Ndiuno in Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State.

The body of late Fr. Ugwu was found in a bush decomposing on Wednesday morning, a week after he was allegedly kidnapped.

The abduction of Catholic priests is gradually becoming a daily thing in Enugu State. On July 4, 2018, Rev. Fr. Paulinus Udewangu of St. Marks Catholic Church, Nsude in Udi Local Government Area was kidnapped while he was jogging.

The PUNCH reliably gathered that Rev. Fr. Ugwu was kidnapped on Wednesday 13, March 2019, around 9:00 p.m. after they had shot him in his church premises.

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Speaking shortly after his remains were laid to rest at the Catholic cemetery at the Holy Ghost Cathedral, the Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev. Callistus Onaga, called on the police to fish out the killers of the priest.

Bishop Onaga decried the spate of violent killings around the country, advising that Christians should intensified their prayers for the survival of the country.

He regretted that security agencies could not rescue Fr. Ugwu despite their assurances that they were closing in on the kidnappers, even as his abductors were making withdrawals from his account through his Automated Teller Machine Card.

Bishop Onaga said, “All is not well in Enugu State. We should not continue to pretend about it while our people are killed every day. Enugu State is not secure again. Criminals have shifted to Enugu State from Anambra.

“When Father Ugwu was kidnapped, we reported it to the police and since then I have visited police station three times yet they kept telling me we are closing on the kidnappers. I doubt they were doing anything because where the deceased body of Fr. Ugwu was found is not up to 20km from his house.”

Also speaking, the Director of Communication, Enugu Catholic Diocese, Rev. Fr. Benjamin Achi, called on the government of Enugu State to live up to its responsibility of protecting lives and property.

He expressed worry that this is the first time a priest would be kidnapped inside the Church premises in the Diocese.

Hover, efforts to get the official reaction of the police failed as the Police Commissioner, Suleiman Balarabe, did not respond to text messages sent to his mobile phone.

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