- Maurizio Pallu, an Italian priest who was kidnapped has been released
- He was kidnapped by gunmen in Edo state
- Pallu is a 63-year-old missionary affiliated with the Neocatechumenal
An Italian priest of the Catholic Church, Maurizio Pallu, who was kidnapped by gunmen in Edo state has been released.
NAIJ.com had previously reported that Pallu, was kidnapped on Thursday, October 12 by gunmen in Benin city, Edo state.
He was said to have been snatched in broad day light, few days after a professor at the University of Benin was killed right in front of his residence in the state.
Pallu, a 63-year-old missionary affiliated with the Neocatechumenal Way, and a group of pilgrims were on their way to Mass in Benin City when they were ambushed.
The priest said contrary to initial reports, two members of the group were taken hostage.
"We were very scared, especially the two young people who were with me: a young man employed by the parish and a female student, both from Nigeria, both very young," Pallu told Vatican Insider Oct. 18.
"We walked for several hours, hoping that someone would notice us," he said. "Instead, we were taken to an isolated place."
Going further, Pallu said it was the second time he was kidnapped, Catholic Reporters reports.
"This wasn't the first time; it happened before on October 2016. I was with other people, they robbed the little bit of money and other objects we had. But that only last a few hours," he said. "This time, they held us for six days."
Pallu said that although he was not hurt, one of the assailants, who "was particularly violent," would beat the young parish employee.
Speaking to Vatican Radio, he said: "I’m fine, very happy! The Lord has risen, he’s accompanied me, I’ve had moments of fear but I have to say that I really felt the help of the saints, Mary and of Carmen Hernandez, co-founder of the Neocatecumenal Way].”
His liberation, Pallù said: “means that the Lord has a great plan for this country, because the devil is attacking it with great force to destroy God’s work in this nation,” Cruxnow reports.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had reported that kidnappers suspected to be Niger Delta militants have kidnapped four missionaries in Delta state.
Andrew Aniamaka who is the state commissioner of police confirmed the kidnapping of the missionaries who were said to offer free medical service to the people in the region.
He said: "The abductors have not made any contact but we are doing our investigations to know the motive and have them rescued without jeopardising their lives.
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