Gunmen have abducted a Catholic priest, Reverend Father Marcellinus Okide, in Enugu State.
Okide, the parish priest of St. Mary’s Catholic church Amofia-Agu Affa in Udi local government area of Enugu State, was kidnapped on Sunday evening around 5pm along Eke-Affa-Egede Road while returning to his Parish.
The Diocesan Communication Director, Rev. Fr. Anthony Aneke, who confirmed his abduction in a statement, decried the upsurge in insecurity in the state, the South East, and the entire country, and appealled to the security agencies and the government to live to the calling and ensure the security of Nigerians at all times.
Fr. Aneke said that fr. Okide was kidnapped at approximately 5pm while traveling along the Eke-Egede-Affa Road in Nigeria.
The statement partly read, “In a troubling incident, Rev. Fr. Marcellinus Obioma Okide, a Catholic priest, was abducted on September 17, 2023, at approximately 5:00 p.m. while traveling along the Eke-Egede-Affa Road in Nigeria. Fr. Okide, who serves at St. Mary Amofia-Agu Affa Parish, was en route to his parish when the unfortunate incident occurred.
“The diocese has issued a fervent appeal to the faithful and the public at large for prayers, hoping for the swift and safe release of Fr. Okide. Additionally, they are calling for a change of heart on the part of the kidnappers. This distressing event highlights the ongoing challenge of kidnappings in the region.
“Rev. Fr. Wilfred Chidi Agubuchie, the Diocesan Chancellor and Secretary, issued the plea, invoking the Lord’s intervention to free Fr. Okide from the clutches of his captors and to safeguard the nation of Nigeria. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the security issues plaguing the country, and the need for concerted efforts to address them.”