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Edo acting Gov., Shaibu, visits community of murdered Catholic priest, condemns killing

Rev. Fr. Christopher Odia

By Kevin Okunzuwa

Benin, June 27, 2022

Edo acting Governor, Mr. Philip Shaibu, has condemned the killing of a Catholic Priest, Rev. Fr. Christopher Odia, in Ikabigbo, Etsako West Local Government Area of the state.

Shaibu, who led other government functionaries and heads of security agencies in the state on Monday to Ikabigbo, called for calm among residents in the community.

The acting governor also commiserated with the Head of Ikabigbo Community, Aleghe Braimah; family of a member of the Edo Vigilante Network, who lost his life in an attempt to rescue the priest, Yusuf Nurudeen, and the Ogieneni of Uzairue, Kadiri Omogbai.

A statement by Mr. Crusoe Osagie, Special Adviser to the governor on Media projects, in Benin, quoted Shaibu as saying he was in the area to commiserate with the Uzairue people and get first-hand knowledge of the incident.

“The unfortunate attack resulted in the killing of Rev. Fr. Christopher Odia at St. Michael Catholic Church, Ikabigbo in Etsako West Local Government Area.

“I received briefs from eyewitnesses in the community and assured the troubled community that the assailants will be brought to book and made to pay for their crimes.

“We are pained by the loss of both the Reverend Father and the member of the vigilante group, who was killed but I am particularly happy with our youth and the vigilante group and the hunters.

“We also commend the police and the military for their prompt action. We’re very saddened that we lost our loved ones.

“I insisted that we must come to see what has happened for ourselves. We have gotten some information already.

“Last night, I insisted that the military should remain in the bush to comb the forest. As we speak, they’re still there because we want to make sure that none of the culprits escapes.

“We will also look at what has happened here critically because Edo State has been relatively peaceful.

“We will not allow these miscreants to come into our state and disrupt the peace that we’re already enjoying.

“Edo will be too hot for them. We will assess what has happened to know how to correct them,” Shaibu said.

The Edo Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abutu Yaro, assured the community members and relatives of the casualties that the security outfits would not rest until the criminals were brought to book.

He implored the community to partner with the Police and charged anyone taking actions to work within the ambits of the law to ensure that they did not run foul of the law.

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