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Anxiety as gunmen kidnap Catholic priest in Anambra, demand N2.5m ransom



Persons suspected to be the kidnappers of the Rector of Fr. Tansi Major Seminary in Onitsha, Anambra, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Dim, have demanded a N2.5 million ransom for his release.

The Director of Communications at the Nnewi Catholic Diocese, Rev. Fr. Hygi Aghaulor, told newsmen in Nnewi on Wednesday that Dim was kidnapped by suspected armed herdsmen on Sept. 26.

Aghaulor said that the priest was kidnapped around 7 p.m. on the Nkpologwu-Nimbo road and appealed to the Federal Government and security agencies to help effect his release.

He said that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference had directed that no ransom be paid.

He said that two other priests, Rev. Fr. Jude Chukwuneke and Rev. Fr. Jude Ezeokana, who were in the same vehicle with Dim, managed to escape with various degrees of gunshot wounds.

Aghaulor said that the three catholic priests were returning from Nsukka to Onitsha and Nnewi after a condolence visit to Rev. Fr. Uchenna Ezeh of Nsukka Diocese who lost his mother.

He said that Ezeokana, who is a lecturer in both Fr. Tansi Seminary and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, received treatment briefly in Nsukka and now managing his wounds in Awka.

The priest said that Chukwuneke, the Chaplain of St. Camilus de Lellis Chaplaincy at the  Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi, was shot on the head.

He said that Chukwuneke was receiving treatment at the institution’s teaching hospital in Nnewi.

He said, “We call on people of goodwill to continue to pray for the immediate release of the Vincentian priest.

“We are tempted to wonder if Nigeria is on the verge of collapse. All over the country, women are being raped and intimidated, innocent Nigerians are being slaughtered.”(NAN)