Nigerian Catholic Diocese Seeking Prayers for “quick and safe release” of Spiritan Priest

Fr. Peter Amodu, kidnapped in Nigeria's Otukpo Diocese on 6 July 2022. Credit: Otukpo Diocese

The leadership of the Catholic Diocese of Otukpo in Nigeria is appealing for prayers for the “quick and safe release” of a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost Fathers – Spiritans) who was kidnapped Wednesday, July 6.

In a statement shared with ACI Africa Thursday, July 7, the Chancellor of Otukpo Diocese says, “We write to notify you of the kidnap of Rev. Fr. Peter Amodu, a Priest of the Holy Ghost Congregation who is working in the Catholic Diocese of Otukpo as Parish Priest of Holy Ghost Parish, Eke-Olengbeche.”

In the statement, Fr. Joseph Aboyi Itodo says the July 6 kidnapping of the Spiritan Priest occurred “at about 5.00 pm along Otukpo - Ugbokolo Road, Benue State, while he was on his way to celebrate the Holy Mass at Okwungaga-Ugbokolo.”

The Chancellor communicates the appeal of the Local Ordinary of the Nigerian Diocese, Bishop Michael Ekwoyi Apochi, for prayers. 

He says the Bishop is calling “on all Christ's Faithful in the Catholic Diocese of Otukpo and beyond to earnestly pray for his quick and safe release as we intensify efforts to ensure his release.”


In the statement, Fr. Itodo also says the Diocese commits those who are in captivity “to the powerful intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary for their speedy and safe release from the hands of their abductors.”

Nigeria has been struggling with violence from gangs who kidnap for ransom and sometimes kill their abductees.

The West African country has been experiencing insecurity since 2009 when the Boko Haram insurgency emerged with the aim of turning the country into an Islamic state. 

The July 6 kidnapping of the Spiritan Priest, Fr. Amodu, is part of the recent series of abductions targeting members of Catholic Clergy in Africa’s most populous country.

On July 3, an Italian Priest in Benin City Archdiocese in Nigeria was beaten by “suspected herdsmen” after he resisted following them.

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Fr. Luigi Brenna who fainted following the beatings managed to head back to his residence “in a pool of blood” after gaining consciousness. He was “rushed” to Igbinedion University Teaching Hospital in Benin City and on July 4, transferred to “another hospital” where he’s reportedly responding to treatment.

A day after Fr. Brenna’s attack, Fr. Emmanuel Silas of the Diocese of Kafanchan was taken hostage by armed men from his residence. The Priest was set free hours later.

Days before, two Priests ministering in Nigeria's Uromi Catholic Diocese were seized after gunmen attacked their car along the Benin-Ekpoma Express Way.

The kidnapping of Fr. Philemon Oboh and Fr. Peter Udo came days after two Priests were killed in separate attacks in their respective Nigerian Dioceses, one in Kaduna Archdiocese on June 25, and the other in Auchi Diocese on June 26.

On Pentecost Sunday, June 5, gunmen attacked St. Francis Xavier Owo Catholic Parish of Ondo Diocese leaving 39 Catholics killed and more than 80 injured.


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.