A priest of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Anthony Jata’u, has been killed by bandits in Gusau, Zamfara State, on the way to his new station in Katsina State
Multiple sources close to the family told our correspondent on Tuesday that Jata’u, from Southern Kaduna, was abducted last Thursday alongside his wife, three kids and two sisters-in-law.
He was posted to the new station by the Sokoto Diocese of the church.
One of the sources said the reverend, who attended the Crowther Graduate Theological Seminary, Abeokuta, Ogun State, was killed and his body dumped by the roadside by his assailants, who went away his family members.
“The bandits shot at the car he was driving and dragged him and the occupants out as the vehicle skidded off the road. His body was recovered two days later, but his family members were taken away,” the source said.
A reliable source in the Anglican Church, Sokoto Diocese, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, added that the kidnappers had called the church and some family members to demand N10m ransom before releasing the deceased’s wife, kids and in-laws.
The source explained, “Everybody is sad at the moment and afraid for the lives of his family members still in the custody of the bandits. The church doesn’t have such money but it’s hoping to raise a substantial sum to secure the release of the victims. The abductors separated the kids into different locations as it was glaring when they called and asked them to speak with the person whose mobile telephone the victims gave them.
“There is panic among worshippers as time is ticking and no one knows what their next line of action will be. Security agencies are aware of the case but there is nothing yet.”
It was gathered that Jata’u was once abducted in September 2006, while serving at St. Andrew’s DCC Diocese of Nnewi, Anambra State.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the police in Zamfara State, Mohammed Shehu, said he would find out about the case and get back to our correspondent.
As he was further told that a close colleague of the slain priest had said the police called for the identification of the body, which they saw on the road, Shehu stated, “On Gusau road? Okay, I will find out.”
He had yet to get back to our correspondent as of the time of filing this story.