AFRICA/NIGERIA - Another priest abducted in the south of Nigeria

Friday, 29 September 2017 kidnappings   priests  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - Another Catholic priest in the south of Nigeria, Rev. Fr. Lawrence Adorolo, of St. Benedict Catholic Church, Okpella in the State of Edo, was reportedly abducted. "Rev Adorolo was on his way back from Auchi to his parish at St. Benedict Catholic Church, Okpella, when he was abducted by gunmen at a bad spot near Okpella about 6p.m. on Wednesday, September 27", said His Exc. Mgr. Gabriel Dunia, Bishop of Auchi.
In condemning the kidnapping of the priest, defined as an "abominable act", the Bishop revealed that "the abductors have made contact with the church for ransom. The church does not pay ransom", Mgr. Dunia reiterated, confirming the line adopted by the Nigerian Bishops' Conference to reject any request for ransom.
"The diocese is calling for an unconditional release of the priest. We are holding a Mass for the unconditional release of the priest", concluded the Bishop.
Some days ago, armed men kidnapped the director of Ogba's Wildlife Park in Benin City, the capital of Edo State, killing three policemen.
According to Fides, this year alone at least three priests have been kidnapped in the south of Nigeria. Father Samuel Okwuidegbe, a Jesuit, had been kidnapped by strangers on April 18 on the road connecting Benin City to Onitsha and then released on April 22 (see Fides 25/4/2017). On June 18 the police released Fr. Charles Nwachukwu of the diocese of Okigwe, in the State of Imo (in Southeast Nigeria), who was kidnapped by 5 armed bandits on June 16 (see Fides 28/6/2017). The most dramatic episode is that of September 1 with the abduction and killing of Fr. Cyriacus Onunkwo in the State of Imo, his body was found on September 2 near the village of Omuma (see 12/9/2017). There has been no news of Fr. Gabriel Oyaka for two years, a Nigerian Spiritan father (Congregation of the Holy Spirit), abducted on September 7, 2015 in the State of Kogi (see Fides 10/9/2015). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 29/9/2017)