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Gunmen are said to have kidnapped Rev. Father M. Okide, a Catholic Priest associated with the Enugu Diocese, and six additional travellers on Sunday evening in Enugu.
This incident took place along the Eke-Affa-Egede Road within the Udi Local Government Area of the State, occurring between 4:30 pm and 5:00 pm.
As of now, the police command has not responded to the incident. However, the Udi Police Division has deployed officers to the area to initiate efforts aimed at securing the Catholic Priest and the other victims’ release.
Meanwhile, police investigators in Enugu State have taken down three alleged members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Eastern Security Network (ESN). This action was reportedly in response to their purported efforts to enforce an unauthorised ‘Sit at home’ decree in the state.
The command spokesman, Daniel Ndukwe in a statement, said the suspects were “neutralized” at Ezioha Mgbowo community in Awgu Local Government Area of the state during a gun battle today, Monday.
The statement reads:
“At about 2.15 am today, September 18, 2023, a joint security team, comprising Police Operatives of the Enugu State Command, NPF Special Forces, and Troops of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army Enugu, acting on credible intelligence, burst the criminal hideout of IPOB/ESN subversive criminal elements in Ezioha Mgbowo in Awgu Local Government Area, while they were perfecting plans to enforce the illegal sit-at-home order in the State.’
‘Three (3) of the hoodlums, who opened fire on the joint team upon sighting them, were neutralized, while several others escaped with severe degrees of gunshot wounds in the ensuing gunfight.’
‘Three (3) pump-action guns, ten (10) machetes, and other incriminating exhibits were recovered; while an intense manhunt for those on the run is ongoing.’
‘Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, CP Kanayo Uzuegbu, psc while commending the joint team, has reassured the security and safety of citizens as they go about their lawful businesses in the State.’
‘He reiterated the avowed commitment of the police and other security forces to sustain the onslaught against unrepentant violent criminals operating under any guise.’
‘CP Kanayo, therefore, enjoins all and sundry to report individuals sighted with gunshot wounds to the nearest Police Station, while remaining law-abiding and continue to provide the Police with actionable security information and intelligence.’