A Catholic priest, Marcellinus Okide, kidnapped on Sunday by gunmen in Enugu State, South-east Nigeria, has been set free.
He was released at about 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.
The cleric is the parish priest at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Amofia-Agu Affa and was said to be on his way to the parish when he was abducted by the hoodlums.
The Chancellor/Secretary of the Catholic Diocese of Enugu, Chidi Agubuchie, confirmed his release in a statement, Friday morning.
“We are glad to inform you that our brother and priest, Fr Marcellinus Obioma Okide, has been released from the den of the kidnappers,” he said.
Mr Agubuchie, a Catholic priest, said the leadership of the diocese was grateful to God for his protection over the released cleric and to all Catholic faithful for their prayers throughout the “difficult period.”
On Monday, the spokesperson of the diocese, Anthony Aneke, had confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that the kidnappers contacted the church authority for ransom, but did not mention the amount demanded by the hoodlums.
In the statement on Friday, Mr Agubuchie, the diocesan secretary, did not mention if ransom was paid to the kidnappers.
It is not clear, for now, if the cleric was released alongside the six others.
Mr Aneke, the spokesperson of the diocese, did not respond to calls seeking his comments.
Increased kidnap attacks
There have been increased attacks by kidnappers in Enugu State in recent times.
Several people, including university students and government officials, have been kidnapped lately in the state.
Earlier this month, a police officer was killed when suspected kidnappers attempted to abduct some travellers in Ogbeke-Nike, along Ugwogo/Opi/Nsukka Road in Enugu East Local Government Area of the state.
The attack occurred about one month after suspected kidnappers killed one person and abducted many travellers along Ugwogo-Neke Odenigbo Road in the council area.
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