Prayer Appeal for Catholic Priest Kidnapped from Nigeria’s Enugu Diocese

Fr. Marcellinus Obioma Okide reportedly abducted from Nigeria’s Enugu Diocese on September 17. Credit: Enugu Diocese

Prayers are being sought for the safe release of Fr. Marcellinus Obioma Okide reportedly abducted from Nigeria’s Enugu Diocese on September 17.

In a Monday, September 19 statement that ACI Africa obtained, the Chancellor of the Nigerian Diocese provides details about the abduction of Fr. Okide who serves as Parish Priest of St. Mary Amofia-Agu Affa Parish of Enugu Diocese.

“We regret to inform you that Rev. Fr. Marcellinus Obioma Okide was kidnapped yesterday 17 September 2023 at about 5.00 p.m along Eke-Egede-Affa Road,” Fr. Wilfred Chidi Agubuchie says.

He adds, “Fr. Okide was on his way back to his parish, St. Mary Amofia-Agu Affa, when the unfortunate incident occurred.” 

“The Diocese requests your prayers for the quick and wholesome release of Fr. Okide and for a change of heart on the part of the kidnappers,” Fr. Agubuchie says.


The Chancellor of Enugu Diocese continues, “It is quite disheartening that this evil scheme is still plaguing our people.”

“May the Lord who came to set captives free (Lk 4.18) deliver our brother from the hands of our enemies and save our country Nigeria,” he implores.

Nigeria has been experiencing insecurity since 2009 when Boko Haram insurgency began with the aim of turning the country into an Islamic state.

Since then, the group, one of largest Islamist groups in Africa, has been orchestrating indiscriminate terrorist attacks on various targets, including religious and political groups as well as civilians.

The insecurity situation in the country has further been complicated by the involvement of the predominantly Muslim Fulani herdsmen, also referred to as the Fulani Militia.

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The September 17 abductions of Fr. Okide is the latest of a series of kidnappings of members of the Clergy in Africa’s most populous nation.

On August 2, a Priest and seminarian were abducted from the Diocese of Minna. Fr. Paul Sanogo from Mali and Seminarian Melchior Mahinini from Tanzania were released on August 23 after three weeks in captivity.

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.