Magnus Eze, Enugu
A Catholic priest, Rev. Father Arinze Madu, has been kidnapped at Imezi Owa in Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu state.
Madu, who served at the Queen of Apostles Seminary School, Imezi Owa, was allegedly abducted by gunmen at the school gate on Monday evening.
His whereabouts were not known as at yesterday night.
The Enugu State Police command confirmed the incident, assuring that its operatives had intensified manhunt for the abductors of the priest in order to liberate him unhurt and arrest the suspects.
A statement by the command’s public relations officer, Ebere Amaraizu, said: “It was gathered that the priest was allegedly abducted on October 28 at about 5.50pm near the gate of the seminary located at Imezi Owa as he was driving out of the seminary premises after suspected hoodlums had allegedly fired sporadically.”
The Catholic Diocese of Enugu expressed sadness and disappointment over the incident, which came on the heels of the recent abduction and killing of two Catholic priests by persons suspected to be herdsmen at Ezeagu and Awgu local government areas.
Reacting to the incident, Director of Catholic Communications in the diocese, Rev. Fr. Benjamin Achi, described it as heart rendering.
“It brings sadness and disappointment. It makes one sad the moment you think one is secure, almost to tell you that you’re not as secure. The priest was just coming out of his house and he was accosted and abducted,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Enugu State Government “expressed deep concern about the unfortunate incident” and charged the police and other security agencies to ensure that the priest was rescued unhurt. It added that no stone would be left unturned to make sure that he regained his freedom. The government reassured the people of its “commitment to continue to make the state safe and to sustain the enviable status of Enugu as one of the safest and most peaceful states in Nigeria.”