Nigeria: Murder, Kidnappings As Nigeria Church Leaders Under Siege

Abuja — NIGERIAN police have initiated a crackdown to arrest suspects behind the killing of a Catholic priest and the abduction of five pastors in separate incidents.

Rev. Father Paul Offu, in charge of St. James the Greater Parish Catholic Church Ugbawka in the southeastern Enugu State was shot dead on Thursday.

Men suspected to be Fulani herdsman allegedly murdered him while he was returning to his parish last Thursday.

On Friday, unknown men also kidnapped pastors from the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) on their way from the eastern town of Ogbere.

They were on their way to a conference in Lagos.

Inspector General of Police, Mohamed Adamu, has ordered massive operation to arrest the perpetrators.

Consequently, detectives from the IGP-Intelligence Response Unit, the Forensic and Homicide sections of the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) have been deployed to Enugu.

Police have also intensified operations for the rescue of the five pastors.

Frank Mba, Nigeria Police spokesman, said while condemning the killing of the priest and the abduction of the clergymen, Adamu called for calm and assured that the perpetrators would be arrested.

"He (Adamu), therefore, enjoins the public to avail the police with credible information that will assist in apprehending the criminals," Mba said.

Offu's murder comes five months after the killing of Fr Clement Ugwu, the parish priest of St Mark Catholic Church, also in Enugu. Last year, Rev. Fr. Paulinus Udewangu of the same church was kidnapped while jogging.

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