AFRICA/NIGERIA - Kidnapped Catholic priest regains freedom

Friday, 22 September 2023 priests   kidnappings  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - Last Sunday, September 17, Father Marcellinus Obioma Okide, who serves as a parish priest at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Amofia-Agu Affa, Udi Local Government Area, was abducted alongside six other travellers by unidentified gunmen (see Fides, 19/9/2023).
The Director of Communications of the Diocese of Enugu, Father Anthony Aneke, confirmed Father Okide's release on Friday morning, but did not reveal whether a ransom was paid.
According to the statement, Father Okide was released on Thursday, September 21, 2023, at approximately 8:00 pm. The statement revealed: "We are pleased to inform you that our brother and priest, Fr. Marcellinus Obioma Okide, has been released". "The Catholic Diocese of Enugu expresses gratitude to Almighty God for protecting Fr. Okide and appreciates your prayers and Masses during this difficult time. May Our Lady, Help of Christians, intercede for us and our country, Nigeria". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 22/9/2023)