The Archbishop adds, “I personally visited and saw Bishop Chikwe in his residence at about 10.45pm looking and feeling very weak from the traumatic experience. Nevertheless, we continue to thank the Almighty God for His goodness to us.”
In the letter circulated Saturday, January 2, Archbishop Obinna says that Mr. Ndubuisi who was abducted alongside Bishop Chikwe had to be “speedily taken to the hospital for treatment of a deep cut he received on his hand from the kidnappers.”
Bishop Chikwe and his driver were abducted December 27 at about 8 p.m. local time along Port Harcourt road in Owerri, The Sun, a Nigerian online publication reported, adding that the Bishop’s vehicle “was later returned to Assumpta roundabout, while the occupants were believed to have been taken to an unknown destination.”
“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,” The Sun further reported, making reference to Isaac Akinmoyede, the Police Commissioner of Nigeria’s Imo State.
In his January 2 letter, Archbishop Obinna who had, on December 29 asked “all Christ's faithful and people of goodwill at large to disregard the purported news feed by one Useni Yusuf at AI Press on the killing of” Bishop Chikwe, recognizes the “combined” efforts made by various security agencies to secure the safe release of Bishop Chikwe and his driver.
“I gratefully acknowledge that the Imo State Government through the Directorate of the Security Services and the anti-Kidnapping Squad of the Nigeria Police Force and the Anambra State Government through the Chief Security Office of the State, combined their efforts to attain the release of Bishop Chikwe and Mr. Ndubuisi Robert, his driver,” Archbishop Obinna says.
The Nigerian Archbishop goes on to “sincerely thank the Holy Father, Pope Francis for mentioning the captivity of Bishop Moses Chikwe and Mr. Ndubuisi Robert and praying for their release at his New Year Angelus Message at the Vatican just hours before they regained their freedom.”
He also expresses his gratitude “to the Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, Archbishop Antonio G. Filipazzi, for keeping in touch with me and the Vatican authorities during this painful saga.”
“To all the Cardinals, Catholic Bishops, Priests, Religious and Laity in Nigeria and across the world, I say immense thanks for your fervent prayers and supplication,” Archbishop Obinna further says.
He adds, “I equally thank other Christians and People of Goodwill for their spiritual and humane solidarity during this painful period.”