Kingsley Eze, Uchenna Newman : Gunmen Abduct Catholic Priest in Imo State, Nigeria: Worsening Insecurity Threatens Region

Death – Obituary – Accident and Crime News : Gunmen have kidnapped a Catholic priest and his driver in Imo State, South-east Nigeria. The incident occurred at a road junction in the community of Umuekebi, Osuoweerre, in the Isiala Mbano Local Government Area. The priest, Kingsley Eze, also known as Father Ichie, serves as the priest in charge of Saint Michael’s Catholic Church Parish in the community. The gunmen, who were riding on two motorcycles, not only abducted the priest and his driver but also robbed shop owners at the junction before fleeing the scene.

Local church members and community residents expressed their shock and concern over the incident. One church member, who preferred to remain anonymous, stated that the abduction was unfortunate and prayed for the safe return of the priest and his driver. Another community resident, who also asked not to be named, lamented that this was not the first kidnapping in the area and pleaded for government intervention to address the worsening security situation.

The attack comes in the midst of increasing insecurity in Imo State, with frequent attacks by armed individuals targeting security agencies, government officials, and facilities. Just a few days prior to this incident, gunmen suspected to be members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) killed a divisional police officer and a police inspector in the state. Last week, the traditional ruler of Otulu Community was abducted and killed, followed by the killing of a ward chairperson of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state.

The Nigerian government has accused IPOB of being responsible for these attacks, but the group denies any involvement. IPOB is leading a movement for the creation of an independent state of Biafra in the South-east and parts of South-south Nigeria.

The deteriorating security situation in Imo State highlights the urgent need for government intervention to ensure the safety and well-being of residents. The government must take decisive action to address the root causes of the insecurity and restore peace and stability in the region. The abduction of a Catholic priest is not only a threat to religious freedom but also a reminder of the broader security challenges facing the country. It is crucial that all stakeholders work together to find sustainable solutions and ensure the safety of all Nigerians.

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