Gunmen who kidnapped Catholic priest in Anambra demand N2.5m ransom

PERSONS suspected to be the kidnappers of the Rector of Father Tansi Major Seminary in Onitsha, Anambra, Reverend Father Emmanuel Dim, have demanded N2.5 million ransom for his release, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

Director of Communications at the Nnewi Catholic Diocese, Reverend Father Hygi Aghaulor, told newsmen in Nnewi on Wednesday that Dim was kidnapped by suspected armed herdsmen on September 26.

Aghaulor said the priest was kidnapped around 7:00 p.m. on the Nkpologwu-Nimbo Road and appealed to the Federal Government and security agencies to help effect his release.

He said the Catholic Bishops’ Conference had directed that no ransom should be paid, adding, however, that two other priests, Reverend Father Jude Chukwuneke and Reverend Father Jude Ezeokana, who were in the same vehicle with Dim, managed to escape with various degrees of gunshot wounds.

Aghaulor disclosed that the three catholic priests were returning from Nsukka to Onitsha and Nnewi after a condolence visit to Reverend Father Uchenna Ezeh of Nsukka Diocese, who lost his mother.

He said that Ezeokana, who is a lecturer in both Father Tansi Seminary and the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, received treatment briefly in Nsukka and now recuperating in Awka.

The priest said that Chukwuneke, the Chaplain of St. Camilus de Lellis Chaplaincy at the  Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi, was shot on the head and was receiving treatment at the institution’s teaching hospital in Nnewi.

“We call on people of goodwill to continue to pray for the immediate release of the Vincentian priest.

“We are tempted to wonder if Nigeria is on the verge of collapse. All over the country, women are being raped and intimidated, innocent Nigerians are being slaughtered,’’ Aghaulor added.