The Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri, Imo State, in Eastern Nigeria, has announced the kidnap of the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese, Most Rev. Moses Chikwe.
In an official memo, released by the Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri, the Archbishop, His Grace, Most Rev. John Victor Obinna, called for prayers “for his safety and quick release.” He also enjoined all to trust in the maternal assistance of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
According to eyewitnesses, the Auxiliary Bishop was kidnapped in the night of Sunday 27th December 2020. An anonymous source said that the Bishop and his driver were kidnapped close to his house, while his car and official regalia were abandoned at the premises of the Assumpta Cathedral.
As at the time of this report, there had been no official reports of any correspondence with the kidnappers.
Confirming the report, police spokesman Orlando Ikeokwu, who said the police got wind of the incident via social media, affirmed that the incident actually happened on Sunday evening.
He said the Imo State Police Commissioner, Isaac Akinmoyede, has already set a process in motion to arrest the culprits.
‘The Commissioner of Police has activated the Command’s Quick Intervention Team (QUIT) and the Anti Kidnapping Unit (AKU), to move into the matter with a view to rescue the Bishop and possibly arrest the hoodlums,’ Ikeokwu said
This is the second time this month that a Catholic cleric is being kidnapped in the Eastern part of Nigeria.
Recall that Rev. Fr. Valentine Oluchukwu Ezeagu of the Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy (SMMM), Umuahia, Nigeria, had been kidnapped December 15, 2020 by unknown gunmen, as he was on his way to bury his late father.
Fr. Valentine was later released unconditionally.
Please let us keep the Auxiliary Bishop of Owerri Archdiocese in our fervent prayers.