Tension as gunmen abduct Catholic priest in Anambra

Gunmen has kidnapped a Catholic priest in Anambra State, south-east Nigeria.

The victim, Basil Chukwuemeka, was kidnapped around 8 a.m. on Wednesday near Eke Nkpor on the Obosi Bypass in Idemili North Local Government Area of the State.

Prudentius Aroh, Chancellor of the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha, made the announcement in a statement on Thursday.

Mr Aroh, a Catholic priest, stated that the victim is a priest residing at Holy Trinity Parish in Ogidi, another hamlet in the council area.

“Until now, the abductors have not established any contact with anybody,” he said.

The chancellor said the bishop of the archbishop of the Archdiocese, Valerian Okeke, has called for intensified prayers among the Catholic faithful for the safe release of the cleric.

The police spokesperson in Anambra State, Tochukwu Ikenga, confirmed the incident in a statement on Thursday.

Mr Ikenga, a superintendent of police, said the Commissioner of Police in the state, Nnaghe Obono, had addressed other Catholic priests on the development in the Bishop Conference at Onitsha.

“Anambra Police Command has launched a manhunt for the abductors and possible rescue of Reverend Fr. Basil Chukwuemeka, which sad incident occurred at Nkpor Junction, Onitsha,” he said

The spokesperson said the police commissioner has assured the leadership of the church that the police in the state would do “everything” to rescue the priest unhurt and arrest the kidnappers.

“The Command is already working with some eyewitnesses of the incident in the ongoing operation,” Mr Ikenga added.

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