From Desmond Mgboh, Kano
A popular Kano based Roman Catholic priest who was kidnapped last year, Father Gospel .J. Inalegwu, has “resigned” from priesthood, sending a wave of shock across the church.
Sunday Sun gathered that Father Gospel .J. Inalegwu had since tendered his resignation letter to the Bishop of Kano Diocese, Most Rev. John Namawzah Niyiring and had traveled out of the state with all his belongings.
A priest of the Catholic Church who decried his action, said the Church was yet to recover from the shock of his unprecedented action.
He offered that the affected priest might have been affected by the trauma of his abduction, adding however that, “there could be other personal reasons behind his action”.
Sunday Sun gathered that after the priest regained freedom, he was granted a period of rest, but was eventually asked to resume at his old parish contrary to his expectation, as Sunday Sun learnt that he had anticipated to be posted elsewhere.
The Communications Director, Kano Diocese, Father Augustine Nnadi declined comment on the development, but His Lordship, the Bishop of Kano Diocese, Most Rev. John Namawzah Niyiring told Sunday Sun that, “Priests do not resign as they do in the public service, but are laicized”
While confirming that Father Inalegwu was no longer available for his pastoral assignments in the diocese, he maintained that the only authority that could process the request of a priest wishing to return to a lay status was the Holy Father, the Pope.
Asked if he had tried to talk to the priest, he replied: “Yes I did that. I had some discussions with him to try to persuade him not to do what he is doing. I think he probably wants something else.”
The Bishop went further to debunk insinuations that the priest’s action was informed by his abduction experience, insisting that, “ Long before his kidnap saga, he had voiced out his desire to do what he did. And we have a record of that”
The Benue born Catholic priest, who was kidnapped at his parish at St Joseph Catholic Church, Jitan – Dutse, in Tudun Wada Local Government Council, Kano State, was ordained in Kano State in 2013.