“What I think is that he may have been mistaken for another person because we’re at a loss as to why a young Priest that just started God’s service should be kidnapped,” Catechist Uwakwe has been quoted as saying.
He adds, “The abductors may have been looking for somebody else and may have run into him and got him kidnapped.”
The abduction of Fr. Godfrey of Umuahia Diocese is the latest of a series of attacks that seem to target Clergy and Christians in the West African nation that has been grappling with insecurity since 2009 when Boko Haram insurgency emerged with the aim of turning the country into an Islamic State.
Earlier this week, on October 11, Christ the King Major Seminary of the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan was attacked and three Major Seminarians kidnapped. All the three Seminarians were released on October 13.
Last December, the Auxiliary Bishop of Nigeria’s Owerri Archdiocese, Bishop Moses Chikwe, was kidnapped and later released unharmed.
In an October 7 statement, Christian leaders of various denominations in the South Eastern part of Nigeria expressed concern over increased insecurity and violence in the region, saying that part of Nigeria was descending into lawlessness
“As religious leaders of this badly battered region, we appeal to all those responsible for the killings to please stop, before the entire South East descends into anarchy, which will invariably affect the other parts of the country,” the Christian leaders said in their collective statement.
They added in reference to the Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB), a group that has been banned by the Nigerian government, “We would also like to engage the members of the Indigenous People of Biafra and other separatist groups, to ask them to eschew all violent activities. But we cannot reasonably do this as long as any of them is proscribed as a terrorist group.”
“We therefore call on the Federal Government to consider granting amnesty to IPOB and other separatist groups,” the Christian leaders said in their statement titled, “Restore Trust, Confidence and Calm in South East Nigeria: A Passionate Plea by the Christian Religious Leaders of South East Nigeria.”
Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.