AFRICA/NIGERIA - Father Ochang and members of St. Jude's Society kidnapped on November 24 have been released

Tuesday, 29 November 2022 kidnappings   priests  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "Father Peter Abang Ochang and his companions were released on the morning of Saturday, November 26. They are fine", said Fr Peter Abue, Vicar General of the diocese of Ogoja, confirming the release of Peter Abang Ochang, parish priest of St. Stephen Roman Catholic Mission (RCM) Church in Ogoja Diocese in Cross River State. The priest was kidnapped on November 24 in an area in the state of Nasarawa, along with five members of the St. Jude society (see Fides, 25/11/2022). The priest and five members of St. Jude's Society (three women and two men) were on their way to Abuja to participate in some Church initiatives when they were attacked and taken into the bush.
The kidnapping of priests and
religious has been a crime that has been going on for some time in Nigeria. This year, the number of kidnapped priests seems to be increasing. But according to Father Abue, at least in the case of Father Peter Abang Ochang, his abduction, as well as that of his companions, was not due to an act aimed specifically at targeting the Catholic Church. "I don't believe Father Peter and his group were specifically targeted because there was a priest among them. I think it was an accident. The bandits operating in that area fell on them and took them. What happened to the group led by Fr. Peter could have happened to others.
Unfortunately, banditry and kidnappings are rampant in this region", concludes the Vicar General of Ogoja, (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 29/11/2022)