Herdsmen abduct Catholic priest, demand N2.5 million ransom
• Agatu indigenes want N110b compensation for mayhem
Gunmen suspected to be herdsmen have kidnapped the Rector of Fr. Tansi Major Seminary, Onitsha, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Dim and are demanding N2.5 million ransom.
The Nnewi Catholic Diocese Director of Communications, Rev. Fr. Hygi Aghaulor who disclosed this to newsmen yesterday in Nnewi, said Dim was kidnapped on September 26, but insisted that the Catholic Bishop Conference had directed that no ransom should be paid.
Two other priests, Rev. Frs. Jude Chukwuneke and Jude Ezeokana who were with Dim at the time of the incident, managed to escape with gunshot wounds.
According to him, the priest was kidnapped around 7:00 p.m. along Nkpologwu/Nibo Road. He appealed to the Federal Government and security agencies to help effect Dim’s release.
The three Catholic priests were returning from Nsukka to Onitsha and Nnewi after a condolence visit to Rev. Fr. Uchenna Ezeh of Nsukka diocese who lost his mother.
Ezeokana who lectures at both Fr. Tansi Seminary and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, had received treatment at a hospital in Nsukka and is now recuperating, while Chukwuneke, the Chaplain of St. Camilus de Lellis Chaplaincy, College of Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi who was shot on the head is receiving treatment at Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, Nnewi.
‘’A Vincentian priest whose name is yet to be confirmed was also kidnapped with his brother along Abuja Lokoja expressway.
“Another Catholic priest Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Ugwu was kidnapped on August 9,2014 along Ugwuogo-Nike-Opi and few weeks back a senior seminarian was killed in Attakwu, Enugu State,” he said, adding that one begins to wonder if Catholic priests have become endangered species.
He called on people of goodwill to continue to pray for the immediate release of Fr. Dim and the Vincentian priest.
In another development, a representative of Agatu constituency in the Benue State House of Assembly, Sule Audu, is seeking N100 billion as compensation to rebuild and rehabilitate Agatu communities ravaged by herdsmen.
Also, six indigenes of the community have taken the Federal Government to the ECOWAS Court, demanding N10 billion compensation for the rebuilding of communities destroyed by herdsmen.