AFRICA/NIGERIA - Catholic priest kidnapped on Sunday, October 29 released

Tuesday, 31 October 2023 kidnappings   priests  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - Father Thaddeus Tarhembe, the priest kidnapped in the rectory of the parish of Saint Anne in the State of Taraba (north-eastern Nigeria) in the early hours of Sunday 29 October (see Fides, 30/10/2023), has been released. This was announced by the spokesman for the Diocese of Wukari, Father John Laike: "We would like to inform the population that Father Thaddeus Tarhembe, priest of the Catholic Diocese of Wukari, who left his rectory in the early hours of Sunday, October 29, 2023 St. Anne, who was kidnapped in Sarkin Kudu, has regained his freedom. He was released by his captors late in the evening yesterday, Monday, October 30, 2023." The Bishop of the Diocese of Wukari, Mark M. Nzukwein, “on behalf of the priests, religious and lay people of the diocese, thanks everyone for your prayers and solidarity at this difficult time in the life of our young diocese,” it concluded. Father Tarhembe is the latest victim of kidnappings, which are often solved within days. These are kidnappings of priests and religious who are considered "easy prey" but affect all social groups affected by a veritable "industry" of kidnapping for blackmail purposes. In Taraba State alone, the special unit of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria (which assists the regular police in fighting crime) has arrested four people suspected of belonging to a kidnapping gang. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 31/10/2023)