Gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen have abducted a Catholic priest, Rev Father Marcellinus Okide, and six other motorists in separate locations across Enugu State. Their abduction is coming barely 24 hours after a middle-aged man was killed and several others kidnapped in the state on Saturday.
Fr Okide, a Parish priest of St. Mary’s Catholic church, Amofia-Agu Affa in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State, was kidnapped on Sunday evening around 5:00 pm along Eke-Affa-Egede Road while returning to his Parish.
The Catholic Diocese of Enugu State has confirmed his abduction and called on Christians to pray for his safety. The Diocesan Communication Director, Rev. Fr. Anthony Aneke, who confirmed his abduction in a statement, decried the upsurge in insecurity in the state, South East, and the entire country, appealing to both the security agencies and the government to live up to the calling and ensure the security of Nigerians at all times.
The statement read in part, “In a troubling incident, Rev. Fr. Marcellinus Obioma Okide, a Catholic priest, was abducted on September 17, 2023, at approximately 5:00 p.m. while traveling 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.”