Fr Malachy Asadu, a priest from the Diocese of Nsukka, in the State of Enugu, in southern Nigeria was released two days after his abduction. This was confirmed by the police yesterday, 27 November, stating that the priest is in good health condition.
Fr Asadu was kidnapped on 25 November along Imilike-Nsukka Road as he was returning from a diocesan meeting in the Cathedral of Saint Teresa, in Nsukka. His abduction took place exactly nine days after another priest, Fr Teofilo Ndulue, who had been kidnapped on 16 November, and then released after three days.
Fr Malachy was the ninth priest to kidnapped in the State of Enugu in 2019.
Among those abducted was Fr Arinze Madu, Vice Rector of the Queen of the Apostles Seminary in Imezi-Owa, Enugu State, kidnapped on 28 October and released on 30 October 30.
Unfortunately kidnappings do not always conclude with the release of the hostage. On 20 March, the body of Don Clement Rapuluchukwu Ugwu, parish priest of the church of San Marco, was found in Obinofia Ndiuno, in Ezeagu Local Government Area, in the State of Enugu, who had been kidnapped on 13 March. On that occasion Mgr Callistus Onaga, Bishop of Enugu, expressed regret for the failure of the police to save Fr Ugwu despite their assurances that they were on the trail of the kidnappers, while these, however, continued quietly to withdraw money from the priest's account.
The clergy of the Diocese of Enugu took to the streets to demand more security after the killing of Fr Paul Offu, on the evening of Thursday 1 August. Fr Paul, Parish priest of the church of St James the Great in Ugbawka, was killed by a group of armed people called 'Fulani shepherds' while driving along the Ihe-Agbudu Road to Awgu.
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