An Italian priest, Maurizio Pallu has been kidnapped by gunmen in Edo state. The 63-year-old priest was snatched last Thursday in broad daylight by armed men just outside of Benin City, Italian media reports said.
“Pope Francis has been informed about the Italian priest Maurizio Pallu kidnapped in Nigeria and he is praying for him,” chief Vatican spokesman Greg Burke wrote on Twitter on Friday evening.
Vatican Radio said Pallu, who had been stationed in Nigeria for three years, was travelling with a group of four other people when they were attacked and robbed by armed men who took Pallu but let the others go.
Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, who confirmed the incident to TV2000, an Italian Catholic TV channel, said that the security forces are doing everything possible to find him.
“For the moment, we don’t have any good news but we are confident and will continue to hope that Father Maurizio will be freed,” he added.
In a similar event, a cleric Rev. Fr. Timothy Nwanja attached to St. Mary’s parish, Okpokueze Nkomoro community, Imoho Development Centre in Ezza North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, has been abducted by two unknown gunmen.
He was abducted around 8:30pm on Sunday.