Catholic Diocese in Nigeria Thankful for “speedy and safe release” of Spiritan Priest

Fr. Peter Amodu, freed from captivity in Nigeria's Otukpo Diocese on 8 July 2022. Credit: Otukpo Diocese

The Catholic Diocese of Otukpo in Nigeria has expressed gratitude to God and the people of God for their prayers following the “speedy and safe release” of Fr. Peter Amodu who had been kidnapped July 6.

In a statement shared with ACI Africa Monday, July 11, Fr. Joseph Aboyi Itodo announced the safe release of the member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost Fathers – Spiritans), saying, “It is with grateful hearts that we announce the safe release of our priest, Rev. Fr. Peter Amodu, CSSp from abduction.”

In the statement Fr. Itodo recalls the day and time when the abduction had taken place. He says, “Fr. Peter, who was kidnapped on 6th July, 2022 at about 5.00 pm along Otukpo-Ugbokolo Highway, Benue State” and that he “was released unharmed”.

The Spiritan Priest gained his freedom on July 8 “at about 8.30pm”, the Chancellor further says, adding, “We expressed our deepest appreciation to God for the safe release of our priest.”

“We sincerely thank all the priests, religious, lay faithful and all people of goodwill who showed strong solidarity and offered prayers for the speedy and safe release of our brother. May the good Lord reward you without measure,” Fr. Itodo further says.


The Nigerian Catholic Priest continues, “As we continue to commend the lives of other numerous people who are held captives by the criminals in various parts of the country to the Lord for their safe rescue, we pray that through the efficacious intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Lord will preserve us from all evil and restore sanity tour country Nigeria.”

Fr. Amodu, Parish Priest of Holy Ghost Parish, Eke-Olengbeche was reportedly kidnapped on July 6 along Otukpo - Ugbokolo Road, Benue State, while he was on his way to celebrate the Holy Mass at Okwungaga-Ugbokolo.

In a statement shared with ACI Africa July 7, the Chancellor of Otukpo Diocese communicated the appeal of the Local Ordinary of the Nigerian Diocese, Bishop Michael Ekwoyi Apochi, for prayers for the safe release of the Fr. Amodu.

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.

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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.

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.