The Catholic Church in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria’s South-south, has urged members of the public to offer prayers for its priest who was abducted recently by gunmen.
The abducted priest, Alphonsus Uboh, was abducted around 7 p.m. on May 8 at his residence, inside the parish he was serving, in Ikot Akpan Abasi, Mkpat Enin Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
His abductors are demanding N100 million ransom before his release.
“We call on all men and women of goodwill to pray for his release from the hands of his abductors,” Charles Ekeng, a reverend father and diocesan chancellor, said in a statement on May 9 on behalf of the Uyo Catholic Diocese.
“While we solicit for an intense prayer for his quick and safe release, we equally wish to call on all not to take laws into their hands.
“We are using every legitimate means to ensure his safe release,” the statement said.
The Catholic Church said Mr Uboh was abducted shortly after he returned to his residence from visiting a parishioner who was ill.
The priest has spent three nights in captivity so far.
His abduction came a few days after a popular Pentecostal preacher was abducted and later released, apparently after ransom payment.
Meanwhile, a Catholic priest abducted eight weeks ago in Kaduna, Nigeria’s North-west, has reportedly died in captivity.
The priest, Joseph Bako, died between April 18 and 20, according to the Catholic authorities in Kaduna.
He was 48 years old.
Abduction for ransom is now one of the dominant crimes across various Nigerian cities.
Politicians, entrepreneurs, and just anyone with good financial worth, including school children, are easy targets.
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