Kidnappers demand N2.5m for Catholic priest’s release

Kidnappers of the Rector of the Father Tansi Major Seminary at Onitsha in Anambra, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Dim, have demanded N2.5 million ransom for his release.

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

He said that the priest was kidnapped around 7 pm along Nkpologwu-Nimbo Road in Enugu State.

Nimbo community in the Uzo Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State was the scene of a dastardly attack by herdsmen that claimed scores of lives earlier this year.

Other bloody attacks by herdsmen have taken place in communities in Enugu State since the Nimbo attack.

Aghaulor said that the Catholic Bishops Conference had directed that no ransom should be paid to the kidnappers for the release of the priest.

He appealed to the federal government and security agencies to help to effect Dim’s release.

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

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

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

According to him, Chukwuneke, the Chaplain of St. Camillus de Lellis Chaplaincy, College of Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi was shot in the head.

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He said that Chukwuneke was at present receiving treatment at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital in Nnewi.

“We call on people of goodwill to continue to pray for the immediate release of Fr. Dim and the Vincentian priest.

“We are tempted to wonder if Nigeria is on the verge of collapse.

“All over the country, women are being raped, intimidated and innocent Nigerians are being slaughtered,’’ Aghaulor said.

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