Kidnapped cleric dies, two others freed

Kidnapped cleric dies, two others freed

Thursday, March 31, 2016 10:37 pm

Reverend Iliya Anto , who was kidnapped along with two other clerics  of the United Church of Christ in Nigeria is dead.

He was abandoned in the bush by the kidnappers to die and only his decomposing body was recovered.

However, it is a sweet story for Rev. Emmanuel Dziggau  and one  other clergy. They regained their freedom Wednesday night and are now recuperating in a Kaduna hospital.

Dziggau, Rev. Yakubu Dzarma and Rev.Iliya Anto were abducted on March 21 along the Kaduna-Abuja Express Way where they had gone to clear a piece of land for the foundation of the church seminary.

A top official of United Church of Christ who pleaded anonymity said on Thursday, Dziggau and  Dzarma were freed on Wednesday in the night while the corpses of Rev. Anto was found, almost decomposing in the bush.

According to him, the two clergy men were immediately taken to a private hospital in Kaduna after they were brought to the church along Katsina Road, Kaduna.

“They were not looking too good and as soon as they brought them, a decision was taken that they needed to see a Doctor, so they were taken to a private hospital in Kaduna for medical check-up, but I will not tell you the hospital because they need some rest.

“We don’t want people to disturb them until they are psychologically and physically fit to see people” the source explained.

According to him, “the person who went to collect them drove them on a bike from where they dropped them for four hours before they could reach a motorable road. This is very traumatic and they need some rest.”

Anto’s corpse was found in the bush after he was abandoned by the kidnappers because of his ill health.

According to a church source, a day after their abduction, the kidnappers had called to inform that Anto was not well and they had dropped him at a location in the bush.

“But when  we dispatched people to the location to carry him, we couldn’t get him after combing the area. The kidnappers who may have been watching us from their hideout said we sent too many people to pick him, so they refused to give further description of the location and we thought they must have gone with him,” he said.

The source however declined to say whether a ransom was paid for the release of the two clergy men.

Reported by : TheNation

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