LAGOS, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- Gunmen suspected to be herdsmen have abducted a Catholic priest and six other travellers in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State.
According to reports, the kidnapped priest, Rev. Father Marcellinus Okide, a parish priest of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Amofia-Agu Affa, in the said LGA of the State was kidnapped while returning to his parish.
The Diocesan Communication Director, Rev. Father Anthony Aneke, who confirmed his abduction in a statement, decried the rise in insecurity in the State, South-East and the entire country, appealing to both the security agencies and the Government to live to their calling and ensure the security of Nigerians at all times.
The statement partly read, “In a troubling incident, Reverend Father Marcellinus Obioma Okide, a Catholic priest, was abducted on September 17, 2023, at approximately 5pm while travelling along the Eke-Egede-Affa Road in Nigeria. Fr Okide, who serves at St. Mary Amofia-Agu Affa Parish, was en route to his parish when the unfortunate incident occurred.
“The diocese has issued a fervent appeal to the faithful and the public at large for prayers, hoping for the swift and safe release of Fr Okide. Additionally, they are calling for a change of heart on the part of the kidnappers. This distressing event highlights the ongoing challenge of kidnappings in the region.”
The Enugu State Police Command is yet to react to the incident, as the State Police Public Relations Officer, Daniel Ndukwe, did not respond to several calls put across to him as at the time of filing this report.
However, operatives of the Udi Police Division are said to be combing the area to secure the release of the Catholic Priest and other victims.
Their abduction came barely 24 hours after a middle-aged man was killed and several others kidnapped in separate locations in Enugu State on Saturday.