Gunmen have kidnapped an Italian an Priest identified as Father Maurizo Pallu in Southern Nigeria.
Confirming the report, Church officials in both countries said Pallu was kidnapped by gunmen on Thursday in broad daylight by armed men just outside the city of Benin, Edo state capital.
The Chief Vatican spokesman, Greg Burke tweeted on Friday evening that “Pope Francis has been informed about the Italian priest Maurizio Pallu kidnapped in Nigeria and he is praying for him.”
Vatican Radio said the 63-year-old priest, who had been stationed in Nigeria for three years, was travelling with a group of four other people when they were attacked and robbed by armed men who took Pallu but let the others go.
The news was confirmed from Nigeria by Abuja Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan who told TV2000, an Italian Catholic TV channel, that “the security forces are doing everything possible to find him.”
“For the moment, we don’t have any good news but we are confident and will continue to hope that Father Maurizio will be freed,” he added.
The foreign ministry in Rome while confirming the report, said it was confirmed it was looking into the disappearance of an Italian national in southern Nigeria without giving his name or any other details.