Gunmen have reportedly kidnapped a priest named Father Alphonsus Uboh from a Catholic church in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom State.
According to Daily Trust, it was gathered that unknown gunmen have been laying siege on various towns in Oruk Anam and Mkpat Enin local government areas of the state, abducting 19 people in six months.
Residents of the areas and other neighbouring villages were being robbed on a regular basis, while shop owners, government employees, and local businesspeople were being abducted for ransom, according to reports.
The abducted Father Uboh is said to be the Parish Priest of X Parish in Mkpat Enin, which is located near Ikot Abasi Akpan on the Ekparakwa-Etinan road.
According to reports, the gunmen arrived in a motorcycle convoy at Father Uboh’s church at 7 p.m. on Sunday night, forced their way into the church, and whisked the priest away on their motorcycle after shooting into the air to scare people away.
The tragedy occurred just two weeks after Apostle John Okoriko, the Founder and President of Solid Rock Kingdom Church, was kidnapped in his home. After spending four days in the kidnappers’ den and paying a ransom, he was eventually released.
The Catholic Priest, along with 18 other victims, were kidnapped in the area between November 2021 and May 2022, according to the investigation.
A top police officer in the area, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the kidnapping trend was worrying and giving the authorities sleepless nights.
Police Public Relations Officer, SP Odiko Mcdon, confirmed the priest’s kidnapping and stated that they were working to stop gunmen from operating in the region.
He stated, “We have gotten the report from that location and we are working on it.”
Ekparakwa, villages along the Ekparakwa/Ikot Abasi road in Oruk Anam local government area, and Ikot Ebak, Ikot Akaam, Ibekwe Akpan axis in Mkpat local government area are among the communities being affected.
Source: Daily Trust.