Nigerian Diocese Seeking “maternal intercession of Our Mother of Perpetual Help” for Release of Abducted Priest, Laity

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The Catholic Diocese of Ekwulobia (CADEK) in Nigeria is appealing for prayers through the intercession of Our Mother of Perpetual Help for the release of Fr. Christian Ike and Catechist Mazi Ogbonnaya Aneke, who were abducted on Sunday, June 16.

In a statement shared with ACI Africa on Tuesday, June 18, the Chancellor of the Nigerian Diocese, Fr. Lawrence Nwankwo, provides details of the abduction of the duo, who he says were kidnapped around 9.45 a.m on Sunday “as they were returning from Mass in an outstation of St. Matthew's Parish, Ajalli, Orumba North L.G.A.”

Appealing for prayers for the safe release of Fr. Ike and Mr. Aneke in his statement dated June 16, Fr. Lawrence says, “We implore the maternal intercession of Our Mother of Perpetual Help for their release.”

Nigeria has been battling with a surge of violence orchestrated by gangs, whose members carry out indiscriminate attacks, kidnapping for ransom, and in some cases, killing.

Boko Haram insurgency has been a major challenge in the country since 2009, a group that allegedly aims to turn Africa's most populous nation into an Islamic nation.


The latest abduction of Fr. Ike and Mr. Aneke follows a series of other kidnappings that have targeted members of the Clergy in Africa’s most populous nation.

On June 9, Fr. Gabriel Ukeh was abducted from a parish rectory in the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan.

Fr. Oliver Buba, a Catholic Priest of the Diocese of Yola was abducted on May 21 in the Catholic Diocese; he was later released.

Earlier, on May 15, the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha announced the abduction of Fr. Basil Gbuzuo, who was also later set free.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.