Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers have abducted the Parish Priest of St. George Catholic Church, Omu-Ekiti, in Oye Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Rev. Father Michael Olofinlade.
Reverend Olofinlade was abducted on Saturday evening, January 14, 2023, between Itaji and Ijelu Ekiti while returning from a pastoral assignment in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital.
It was gathered the gunmen were said to have intercepted the priest’s car, dragged him out and whisked him away to the forest.
The Owajumu of Omu Ekiti, Oba Adeyeye Ogundeyi who confirmed the incident said that security agencies and local hunters have launched a manhunt for the abducted priest.
Confirming the incident to The Nation, the State Commandant, Ekiti Amotekun Corps Brig. General Joe Komolafe (rtd) said his men had been deployed to the location with a view to rescuing the victim unhurt and arresting the perpetrators.
“Yes, we are aware of the incident. We are spiritedly making frantic efforts to ensure his early release as well as to apprehend the abduction,” he said.
The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ekiti, Most Rev. Felix Ajakaye, condemned the development, calling on the security agencies to intervene swiftly and secure his release.
In a statement by the Director of Social Communications, Catholic Diocese of Ekiti, Rev Father Anthony Ibadan, the Bishop solicited prayers for the victim’s release from the hands of his abductors.
“Fr. Olofinlade who is the Parish Priest of St, George Catholic Church, Omu-Ekiti in Oye Council Area of Ekiti was abducted on Saturday between Itaji and Omu-Ekiti about 4km to his base,” the statement read.
“Reverend Father Olofinlade went for a pastoral assignment outside the parish. His abduction happened while he was on his way back to the Parish at about 6.00 pm. His abductors are yet to make contact with the Bishop or any other person in the Diocese.
“While waiting for the abductors to make contact with the Diocese, we solicit your prayers for the quick and safe release of Fr Olofinlade for him to return to his pastoral duty post to continue his service to God and humanity through and in the Church.
“With confidence in God and Christ being our strength, wherever God leads us, we follow with joy.”