Catholic Priest of Nigeria’s Issele-Uku Diocese, Freed by Abductors

Caption: Fr. Samuel Agwameseh, released after spending 3 days in captivity.

A week after two Nigerian Catholic priests from Awka Diocese were released unharmed by abductors, another priest from Nigeria’s Issele-Uku Diocese in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, Fr. Samuel Agwameseh has also been set free after three days with abductors, ACI Africa has been told. 

“It is sad and worrisome that priests no longer go out for their pastoral duties,” the communications director of Nigeria’s Issele-Uku diocese Fr. Charles Uganwa said in an interview as he confirmed the release of Fr. Agwameseh who had been kidnapped Saturday, December 14.  

Parish priest of St. Lawrence Catholic Church, Fr. Agwameseh was abducted while on his way from production of the Sunday bulletin for his parish, it was reported.

According to Fr. Uganwa, the abduction, alleged to be the “handwork of the Fulani people” has been common in Nigeria and previously “about four priest have been kidnapped in the past two years in the diocese (Issele-Uku).”

Asked about the claim that a ransom amounting to N20 million (US$54,800.00) was demanded by the abductors for the cleric’s release, Fr. Uganwa said, “The money was not given as it is the policy of the Church in Nigeria not to pay ransom on kidnapped priests and religious.”


“Meanwhile the police were tracking them (abductors) and may be being afraid of the tracking he (Fr. Agwameseh) was released two days later,” Fr. Uganwa said.

Explaining some of the measures the diocese has taken in regard to the rampant abduction of priests in the country, the communications director said, “Priests of the diocese occasionally hold meetings on security issues and suggest ways of not falling victims.”

“The priests have suggested no night travel, avoiding lonely roads and being security conscious,” Fr. Uganwa added.