The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has called on abductors of the Auxiliary Catholic Bishop of Owerri, Bishop Moses Chikwe, to release him unhurt and without ransom.
The group made the call in a statement signed by its state Chairman, Rev. Eches Divine-Eches, yesterday in Owerri, the capital of Imo State.
Similarly, the Association of Catholic Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (ACMPN) has called for the immediate release of Chikwe. In a statement, a Board of Trustees (BOT) member of the Association of Catholic Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (ACMPN), Prof Philip Njemanze, said the bishop’s abduction might not be unconnected to his strong stance against societal ills.
Divine-Eches said Chikwe’s abduction came as a rude shock to them describing the incident as a “desecration of the altar of God.”
He said that the bishop was a peaceful man, who discharged his duties without malice and wondered why he was targeted.
He said: “Imo State chapter of CAN has received with shock the news of the kidnap of the auxiliary Catholic Bishop of Owerri, Rt. Rev. Moses Chikwe and condemn the act vehemently.
“Rt. Rev. Chikwe since his assumption as the auxiliary Catholic Bishop of Owerri has discharged his duties quietly and without malice, which leaves one wondering why he is a target of kidnap.
“This is a desecration of the altar of God and we call on the perpetrators to release him immediately, unhurt and without ransom.”
He appealed to the police commissioner in the state to ensure the perpetrators were caught and made to pay for the act.
The chairman called on youths of the state to shun crime and avoid being used to perpetrate evil while urging all Christian faithful to pray for the swift release of the bishop.
Meanwhile, Njemanze said Chikwe’s “strong opposition to abortion, same-sex marriage and other obnoxious matters in the Imo State Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill 2020 could have made the bishop a target by those who want to silence the Church and pass the demonic VAPP law.
“There is need for great resolve of the Church to push to repeal all VAPP laws passed in the states in Nigeria. ACMPN urge for the immediate release of Bishop Moses Chikwe.
“The kidnapping of prolife activists is consistent with the practice of intimidation applied by local and international sponsors of the VAPP Bill since its introduction in 2012.”