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Catholic Priest, Rev. Father Kidnapped In Madalla, Nigeria State

Feb 27, 2013 – Catholic Priest, Rev. Father Kidnapped In Madalla, Nigeria State

In the past 14 months, from the Christmas Day the church was bombed, the Madalla Parish of the Catholic Church has not really known peace. After the gory incident, the church had long weeks, planning the burial of the victims. Immediately the burial was over, some skirmishes arose on the use of compensations paid by the government of Niger State. The handout from the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, to the victims didn’t elicit less tension.

Issues, relating to the money, real or imaginary, have yet created another trouble for the embattled priest of St. Theresa’s, Rev. Father Isaac Achi. A little after it was announced that the money promised by Sanusi had been given the church, kidnappers did not wait to know whether the money was given in cash, paid into a bank or handed to any individual. All that came to their mind was to go for the priest, seize him and get the money from him as ransom. Father Achi was kidnapped about a month ago and released some 10 hours later.

He recalled that on the day in question, a prominent member of the church had called him on phone to say she was on her way to the church to see him. The woman later came and handed him an envelope she said contained his Christmas and New Year gift. As soon as the woman drove out of the church premises he decided to take a stroll around town. It was in the course of taking a commercial motorcycle (okada) to ease his movement that a grey 406 Peugeot car with a driver and three other young men inside crossed him. Two of the occupants hopped down and asked him to join them at the backseat.

“Unusual of me, I did not ask them the reason for their order. I just joined them and we took off.” It took him some while to realise that something was amiss. He decided to place a call to the Bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Minna, Martin Uzoukwu, an action that infuriated one of his abductors, who hit the phone off his hand. He disclosed that he was blindfolded immediately and his head was placed on the lap of the abductor. After a while they got to a compound where they disembarked and he was taken into a dark room. “As soon as I got to the dark room I was asked to fall on my knees and my hands were tied behind.

They started interrogating me, demanding for the N25 milion donation the CBN governor promised the church and victims of the 2011 Christmas Day bombing. “I told them I have only heard about the promise but it was yet to be fulfilled. The response annoyed them and they slapped me and ordered me to lie face down on the floor.” He said the kidnappers left him in the room probably to go and deliberate on the truth or otherwise of his response. One of them, obviously their leader, later came back into the room, saying: “Father, they say that you are good. Tell us how good you are.” Father Achi revealed that as soon as the kidnap kingpin left another member of the gang came into the room to attest that the priest assisted him a few years ago. He said that he was thereafter taken back into the car and they drove off. He was dropped off at Tunga Maje, a location on the Zuba-Gwagwalada Expressway from where he found his way back to his church.

[Story Source: Daily Sun]

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