AFRICA/NIGERIA - Abduction of a priest on his way to his father's funeral

Wednesday, 16 December 2020 priests   kidnappings  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - A Catholic priest was kidnapped by four heavily armed men on his way to the state of Anambra for his father's funeral.
Fr. Valentine Oluchukwu Ezeagu, of the Congregation of the Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy (SMMM), was on his way to his village, Igboukwu, in the local government area of Aguata, in the state of Anambra, when armed men came out of the bush, blocked the priest's car and forced him to get into the back of the car and set off at full speed.
The kidnapping took place on December 15, the Office of the Secretary General of the Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy (SMMM) said in a statement.
The funeral mass for the priest's father is scheduled for today, December 16, while the funeral should take place on December 17.
The General House asks for prayers for his "immediate release" so that he can attend his father's funeral.
Abductions of priests, men and women religious have been a sad reality in Nigeria for years. At the end of November, Fr. Matthew Dajo was abducted, then freed on 2 December (see Fides 30/11/2020 and 3/12/2020). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 16/12/2020)