Catholic Diocese in Nigeria Appealing for Prayers for Kidnapped Priest

Fr. Alphonsus Uboh. Credit: Uyo Diocese

The Catholic Diocese of Uyo in Nigeria is calling on the people of God to pray for the safe release of a Priest who was kidnapped on Mother's Day.

In a Monday, May 9 statement shared with ACI Africa, Fr. Charles Ekeng, the Chancellor of the Nigerian Diocese, said that Fr. Alphonsus Uboh, the Parish Priest of St. Pius X Parish was abducted on Sunday, May 8.

“It is with great pain that we officially confirm and announce to you the abduction of one of our Priests Fr. Alphonsus Uboh from his Parish residence at St. Pius X Parish, Ikot Abasi Akpan in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area,” Fr. Ekeng said.

Fr. Uboh was kidnapped at around 7:30 p.m. local time after returning to his residence from visiting a sick member, the Chancellor of Uyo Diocese said in the message that was shared with ACI Africa May 9.

Fr. Ekeng added, “We call on all men and women of goodwill to pray for his release from the hands of his abductors.”


The Diocesan Chancellor said that all necessary measures are being considered to ensure that the Priest is released safely. He cautioned the faithful against any attempt to take the law in their hands concerning the abduction.

“We call on all men and women of goodwill to pray for his release from the hands of his abductors,” Fr. Ekeng said, and added, “While we solicit for an intense prayer for his quick and safe release, we equally wish to call on all not to take laws into their hands.”

Media reports indicate that the abductors of Fr. Uboh have requested a ransom of N100 million (US$ 2,410) to release the Priest.

According to the report, the incident occurred after the Parish women under Catholic Women Organization (CWO) had concluded their 2022 Mother’s Day celebrations and fundraising ceremony.

In a Wednesday, May 11 report, Bishop Hyacinth Oroko Egbebo of the  Catholic Diocese of Bomadi decried the state of roads in the country saying that they have become impassable due to increasing cases of kidnapping.

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“The Boko Haram upsurge has really impacted negatively on the economy and on the people… It is difficult to travel through Nigeria by road,” Bishop Oroko said.

The Nigerian Bishop highlighted widespread destruction especially from the central parts of Africa's most populous nation and described the rate at which insecurity is increasing as alarming and confusing.

He said in reference to abductions, “Of course, the other dimension of the herdsmen that are kidnapping and even destroying villages and settlements up in the North and now to the Middle Belt is a very disturbing factor.”

He blamed the rising cases of kidnapping to unemployment among the youth, saying, “They could be doing this because of the unemployment of the youth. This has therefore become a way of employment for them.”

Bishop Oroko blamed the international community for their slow response in helping to address the deteriorating security in the West African country.


“The international community has not even come to help us despite all the turbulence in the Niger Delta, maybe because they are benefiting from the oil wealth too,” the Nigerian Bishop said.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.