Another Catholic priest in the south of Nigeria, Fr Lawrence Adorolo, of St Benedict Catholic Church, Okpella in the State of Edo, was abducted last week.
The Bishop of Auchi, Mgr Gabriel Dunia said in a statement: "Rev Adorolo was on his way back from Auchi to his parish at St Benedict Catholic Church, Okpella, when he was abducted by gunmen at a bad spot near Okpella about 6pm on Wednesday, 27 September".
In condemning the kidnapping of the priest, defined as an "abominable act", the Bishop revealed that "the abductors have made contact with the church for ransom. The church does not pay ransom", Mgr Dunia reiterated, confirming the line adopted by the Nigerian Bishops' Conference to reject any request for ransom.
"The diocese is calling for an unconditional release of the priest. We are holding a Mass for the unconditional release of the priest", concluded the Bishop.
Fr Adorolo's kidnapping is the latest in a string of attacks and abductions of Catholic priests in Nigeria.
According to Fides, this year alone at least three priests have been kidnapped. Jesuit priest Fr Samuel Okwuidegbe, was abducted by strangers on 18 Apri on the road connecting Benin City to Onitsha. He was released on 22 April. On 18 June the police managed to free Fr Charles Nwachukwu of the diocese of Okigwe, in the State of Imo, in Southeast Nigeria, who had been kidnapped by five armed bandits on 16 June.
The most violent incident took place on 1 September when Fr Cyriacus Onunkwo was abducted in the State of Imo. His body was found on 2 September near the village of Omuma.
There has been no news of Fr Gabriel Oyaka, a Nigerian Spiritan Father, who was abducted two years ago on September 7, 2015 in the State of Kogi.
Last week, armed men kidnapped the director of Ogba's Wildlife Park in Benin City, the capital of Edo State, killing three policemen.
UPDATE: We have just been told that Fr Adorolo has been released. See: http://ilsismografo.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/nigeria-kidnapped-catholic-priest.html
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