Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - The Rector of Tansi Major Seminary, Fr. Emmanuel Dim has been kidnapped. This was reported by Fr. Hyginus Aghaulor, Director of Communication of the Diocese of Nnewi, in Anambra State in southeast Nigeria.
According to Fr. Aghaulor, the incident happened on the September 26, 2016, around 7pm along Nkpologwu/Nimbo Road Enugu State. Some heavily armed Fulani herdsmen blocked the car in which Fr. Dim was travelling along with two other priests. "The three priests were returning from Nsukka to Onitsha and Nnewi, when they were attacked". In the assault the other two priests were injured, Fr. Ezeokana who teaches both at the Major Seminary of Onitsha and at Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Awka was slightly injured.
"Rev. Fr. Chukwuemeka, who is the Chaplin of St Camillus de Lellis Chaplaincy, College of Health Science, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi ,who was shot on the head has been transferred from Memphis Specialist Hospital Enugu to Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, where he is currently receiving treatment".
Fr. Dim is still being held by the herdsmen-kidnappers who are demanding a ransom of N2.5 million. "The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, has decided and directed that ransom should not be paid for the kidnap of any of its priests", said Fr. Aghaulor.
Fr. Aghaulor denounces that "on a separate place the same Monday 26th September, 2016, a Vincentian priest whose name is yet to be confirmed was also kidnapped with his brother along Abuja Lokoja express way, another Catholic priest Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Ugwu was kidnapped on August 9, 2014 along Ugwuogo-Nike-Opi and few weeks back a senior seminarian was killed in cold blooded in Attakwu, Enugu State". "One begins to wonder if Catholic priest have become endangered species" said the Director of Communication.
Fr. Aghaulor lashed out on South East Governors for doing nothing to protect people they are governing from the violence of the Fulani herdsmen: "while innocent people are left unprotected, we have seen barrage of military wares and personnel protecting the pipelines in Niger Delta, as if oil is more important than people's life. Why should people be killed without provocation in their own traditional lands?". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 29/09/2016)