The Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri, Imo State, in Eastern Nigeria, has announced the kidnap of the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese, Most Rev. Moses Chikwe.

In a memo, released by the Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri, the Archbishop, His Grace, Most Rev. John Victor Obinna, called for prayers “for his safety and quick release.” He also enjoined all to trust in the maternal assistance of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

An official letter from the office of the Chancellor, Rev. Msgr. Alphonsus Oha, on behalf of the Archbishop, further revealed that the Auxiliary Bishop was kidnapped in the night of Sunday 27th December 2020, around Site and Services, New Owerri, Imo State.

An anonymous source revealed that the Bishop’s car and official regalia were later abandoned at the roundabout of the Assumpta Cathedral.

As at the time of this report, there had been no official reports of any correspondence with the kidnappers.

Confirming the report, police spokesman Orlando Ikeokwu, who said the police got wind of the incident via social media, affirmed that the incident did happen on Sunday evening.

He further added that the Imo State Police Commissioner, Isaac Akinmoyede, has already set some processes in motion to make ensure the perpetuators do not go scot free, saying, “The Commissioner of Police has activated the Command’s Quick Intervention Team (QUIT) and the Anti Kidnapping Unit (AKU), to move into the matter with a view to rescue the Bishop and possibly arrest the hoodlums.”

This is the second time this month that a Catholic cleric is being kidnapped in the Eastern part of Nigeria.

Recall that Rev. Fr. Valentine Oluchukwu Ezeagu of the Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy (SMMM), Umuahia, Nigeria, had been kidnapped December 15, 2020 by unknown gunmen, as he was on his way to bury his late father.

Fr. Valentine was later released unconditionally.

Please let us keep the Auxiliary Bishop of Owerri Archdiocese in our fervent prayers.