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A Catholic priest, Reverend Father Emmanuel Silas, has been reportedly abducted by gunmen in Kaduna State.

Reports said Fr. Silas was kidnapped in Zambina, Kauru LGA of the state early Monday morning.

Emmanuel Uchechukwu Okolo, chancellor of the Catholic diocese of Kafanchan, confirmed the cleric’s abduction in a statement on Monday.

“It is with great pain that we announce to you the kidnapping of our Priest, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Silas. The event occurred in the early hours of July 04, 2022, when he could not turn up for morning Mass,” the statement reads.

“He was abducted from the parish rectory at St. Charles Catholic Church, Zambina, in Kauru Local Government Area of Kaduna State. We solicit an intense prayer for his quick and safe release, we equally wish to call on all and sundry to refrain from taking the laws into their hands. We will use every legitimate means to ensure his quick and safe release.

“May Jesus crucified on the Cross, listen to our prayers and hasten the unconditional release of His Priest and all other kidnapped persons.”

When contacted, Mohammed Jalige, police spokesperson in Kaduna, said the command is yet to receive the report on the abduction of the priest.

Religious leaders have been routinely targeted by gunmen in the north-western state. The latest development comes days after gunmen killed Vitus Borogo, the chaplain of the Catholic Church in Kaduna Polytechnic.

Borogo was killed when the assailants overran Prison Farm, Kujama, along Kaduna-Kachia road.

Weeks before Borogo was killed, Joseph Bako, a Catholic priest who was abducted in March from his residence at St John Catholic Church, Kudenda, Kaduna, was found dead in April.

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