Reverend Father Marcellinus Okide, a Catholic priest, and six other motorists were kidnapped by gunmen believed to be Fulani herdsmen in separate incidents across Enugu State.
They were taken just 24 hours after several people were abducted and a middle-aged man was killed in Enugu State on Saturday.
Fr. Okide, a parish priest at St. Mary’s Catholic church Amofia-Agu Affa in Enugu State’s Udi local government area was abducted on Sunday evening around 5:00 pm while traveling back to his Parish along Eke-Affa-Egede Road.
His abduction has been officially confirmed by the Catholic Diocese of Enugu State, which has asked Christians to pray for his well-being.
The diocesan director of communication, Rev. Fr. Anthony Aneke, who confirmed his kidnapping in a statement, denounced the rise in insecurity in the state, the South East, and the entire nation, and he made an appeal to the government and security agencies to uphold their obligations and ensure Nigerians’ safety at all times.
Fr. Okide According to Aneke, Around was taken hostage by 5:00 p.m. while traveling in Nigeria along the Eke-Egede-Affa Road.
In part, it said, “In a troubling incident, At around 5:00 p.m. on September 17, 2023, a Catholic priest named Rev. Fr. Marcellinus Obioma Okide was kidnapped while traveling through Nigeria on the Eke-Egede-Affa Road. Fr. Okide, a member of the St. His parishioner, Mary Amofia-Agu Affa Parish, was traveling there when the unfortunate incident took place.
The diocese has fervently pleaded with the faithful and the general public for prayers in the hopes of Fr. Okide. Additionally, they are urging the kidnappers to change their minds. This upsetting incident emphasizes the region’s ongoing kidnapping problem.
“The appeal was made by the Chancellor and Secretary of the Diocesan, Rev. Fr. Wilfred Chidi Agubuchie, who prayed for the Lord to intervene to release Fr. Okide from his captors’ grasps and to defend the Nigerian nation. The incident is a stark reminder of the nation’s security problems and the demand for coordinated action to address them. “
Sunday Nwa Ugwuja, a middle-aged man, was also killed in a separate incident on Saturday night along Edem-Nrobo-Ezikolo-Abbi Road in Uzo-Uwani Council, and several other people suffered serious injuries at the hands of kidnappers who laid siege on the road for several hours without being resisted.
In the late hours of Saturday, assailants ambushed them and killed Sunday, who was from the Ezikolo Abbi community’s Apapam village. Sunday was reportedly traveling to Nsukka at the time.
They managed to keep driving as the shooters kept firing shots at their car, despite the fact that they were reportedly shot at severely to get it to stop.
sympathizers reportedly rushed to Bishop Shanaham Hospital in Nsukka on Sunday, where he was confirmed dead from blood loss. They reportedly did so while they were driving to safety.
However, it was reported that one man who ran into the shooters was shot in his hand, while another man and his family narrowly escaped death as they arrived at the scene of the crime.
Yet to respond to this incident is the Enugu State Police. DSP Daniel Ndukwe, the State Police Public Relations Officer, did not return his calls.
However, operatives of the Udi Police Division are said to be combing the area to secure the release of the Catholic Priest and other victims.