The priest in charge of St. Michael’s Catholic Church Parish in Umuekebi, Osuoweerre autonomous community in the Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State, Rev. Fr. Kingsley Eze, also known as Father Ichie, was abducted by gunmen on Thursday night.
According to reports, at about eight o’clock on Thursday night, the priest and another man—Uchenna Newman—who was driving the priest in a Volvo jeep, were taken hostage at Orieama crossroads.
Bellnews reports that the suspects had robbed the store owners at the intersection before fleeing the area.
Speaking under anonymity, a devotee informed Punch Newspaper that the abduction had left the church members in a state of terror.
Confirming the abduction, the source said “It is true. Our parish priest, Rev’d Fr Kingsley Eze, popularly known as Father Ichie has been kidnapped. He was kidnapped alongside Mr Uchenna Newman, at Orieama junction on Thursday around 8 pm.
“They came down from a Volvo jeep to buy something at the junction before they were kidnapped. They also robbed businessmen at the junction. This is so unfortunate. We sincerely pray for the safe return of our parish priest and Mr Uchenna.”
Another source decried the growing trend of abduction in the state.
“Seriously, we need help. The worst is that, they move around in motorbikes carrying pump action guns. Please, the government should come to our rescue. They came on two motorbike and as they were going, they took the car belonging to the priest and the artisan. They also shot and unfortunately, one person was hit by the bullet. The gunshot victim was rushed to a hospital late last night,” the source said.