A Catholic priest kidnapped on Monday (26 Sep.) by Fulani herdsmen in south-eastern Nigeria was released yesterday (29 Sep).
Fr. Emmanuel Dim was travelling with two other priests when they were attacked by some heavily armed men on Monday evening.
“We thank God for the release of Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Dim, Rector [of] Tansi Mayor Seminary, Onitsha, without any ransom paid. We’re happy,” said Fr. Francis Chidume, Chancellor of the Awka Diocese, in Anambra State.
The two other priests were injured during the attack, but managed to escape.
Fr. Ezeokana, who teaches both at the Major Seminary of Onitsha and at Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Awka, was slightly injured, while Fr. Chukwuemeka, Chaplin at Nnamdi Azikiwe University (Nnewi), was shot in the head and has been admitted to hospital.
Kidnapping of prominent persons by armed men, in exchange for money, is recurrent in Nigeria.
Another priest, whose name is yet to be confirmed, was also kidnapped on Monday, along with his brother, while they were travelling on the Abuja–Lokoja Expressway.
“One begins to wonder if Catholic priests have become an endangered species,” said Fr. Aghaulor, who accused the South East Governors of not doing enough to protect the people they are governing from the violence of the Fulani herdsmen.
“While innocent people are left unprotected, we have seen [a] barrage of military wares and personnel protecting the pipelines in Niger Delta, as if oil is more important than people’s [lives],” he said. “Why should people be killed without provocation in their own traditional lands?”