Rev. Father Michael Olofinlade, Parish Priest of St. George Catholic Church in Omu-Ekiti, in the Oye Local Government Area of Ekiti State, has been kidnapped by gunmen who are thought to be kidnappers.
While returning from a pastoral assignment in Ado-Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State, on Saturday evening, January 14, 2023, between Itaji and Ijelu Ekiti, Reverend Olofinlade was kidnapped.
The priest was said to have been dragged out of his car and taken to the forest by the gunmen, according to reports.
According to Oba Adeyeye Ogundeyi, the Owajumu of Omu Ekiti, who confirmed the incident, security agencies and local hunters have launched a manhunt for the kidnapped priest.
Ekiti Amotekun Corps Brig., State Commandant, confirmed the incident to The Nation. According to General Joe Komolafe (rtd), his troops had been dispatched to the scene with the intention of rescuing the victim unharmed and apprehending 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.”