A Catholic Bishop was Kidnapped in Imo State, Nigeria.
Most Rev. Moses Chikwe, the auxiliary bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri, Imo State, was kidnapped. The 53 year-old priest was kidnapped along with his chauffeur near his residence on Sunday night, 27 December. The Owerri archbishop, Most Rev. John Victor Obinna, called for prayers “for Chikwe’s safety and quick release.” “According to eyewitnesses, the Auxiliary Bishop was kidnapped in the night of Sunday 27th December 2020. “An anonymous source said that the Bishop and his driver were kidnapped close to his house, while his car and official regalia were abandoned at the premises of the Assumpta Cathedral.
The Archbishop of Owerri, Victor Obinna confirmed the kidnap in a statement made available to Vatican News, on his behalf by the Archdiocesan Chancellor, Msgr.Alphonsus Oha. “His Grace, Most Rev. Archbishop Anthony J.V. Obinna, the Archbishop of Owerri painfully informs Christ’s faithful and God’s people at large that Most. Rev. Moses Chikwe, Auxiliary Bishop of Owerri was kidnapped late evening of Sunday 27 December 2020. The said incident took place around Site and Services, New Owerri, Imo State,” Msgr. Oha announced.
Bishop Chikwe “was kidnapped two days ago as he was returning from a visit to his residence in Owerri, a mile or two away from the city of Owerri, where he has his residence. Kidnapping has, of course, been going on in Nigeria, in different parts of Nigeria. That it has happened to my Auxiliary Bishop shows that the security situation in Nigeria is very bad. The protection, the security that the people ought to have is not very effective. We have periodically raised the alarm about the state of insecurity in which we find ourselves …..The Church is not far removed from the people. We are not insulated from the suffering of the people. We take it as part of our testimony that we have to bear,” Archbishop Obinna told Vatican News. Police have teams looking for the Bishop According to Nigerian media, Bishop Chikwe’s car and episcopal vestments were abandoned by the criminals near the Assumpta Cathedral premises of Owerri.
The kidnapping of the Auxiliary Bishop of Owerri comes just a week after the abduction in the State of another Catholic religious priest, Fr Valentine Oluchukwu Ezeagu, abducted on 15 December by armed men while on his way to his father’s funeral. The priest was later released on 16 December. Bishop Chikwe, 53, was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Owerri in October 2019.
Edited from Vatican News