Concerns are growing for the safety of the Vice Chancellor of the Veritas Catholic University of Nigeria, Fr Professor Justin Ukpong and his driver, who have not been seen since they were abducted last Thursday.
In a statement, Archbishop John Onaiyekan, said: “We, the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria are really disturbed by this latest development which is a threat to the contribution of the Church to education development in the country. While we condemn it out rightly, we pray for a change of heart by those involved.”
Fr Justin and his driver were kidnapped by unknown persons on Thursday June 24, at about 7 pm as they were about to enter his house, near the university.
The kidnappers have yet to make a ransom demand, but they have demanded to talk to the Archbishop in charge of the institution.
At the end of May, three female students of the University were kidnapped from the Hospitallers Female Hostel located in Obehie. These students werereleased after ten days without payment of any ransom.
The bishops are appealing to the kidnappers to release the vice chancellor and his driver unhurt and without any conditions.
They have also called on the civil authorities to do more to guarantee the security of lives and property of Nigerian citizens.