As reported by This Day, In two separate occurrences on Wednesday morning in Umuahia, the capital city of Abia State, a gang of armed men kidnapped a Catholic priest and an unnamed woman, according to reports. A gang of hoodlums kidnapped the Rev. Godfrey Mark Chimezie of the St. Theresa Parish in Olokoro, Umuahia along the Enyiukwu road in Ohokobe Afaraukwu Ibeku in Umuania North Local Government Area of the state. Chimezie is the rector of the parish.
It was on his way home after morning mass at St. Gabriel Catholic Church, Okpururie Afaraukwu, that the hoodlums apprehended him, according to eyewitness accounts. After forcing the priest out of his Toyota Corolla, the armed guys loaded him into their SUV and drove off to an unknown location. Chimezie, who comes from the Nigerian state of Enugu, is still a young priest, having been ordained only recently, earlier this year.
An elderly woman who had gone to a filling station for petrol on the Aba road in Umuahia fell victim to the kidnappers when she was grabbed and dragged away by the kidnappers in the second occurrence. SP Geoffrey Ogbonna, the state Command’ s Public Relations Officer (PRO), verified the second incidence, which included a female victim, but stated that the police had not yet received any information on the kidnapping of the Catholic priest.
In an interview with This Day, he said the woman was double- crossed by the hoodlums when she was coming out of the filling station opposite Madonna Catholic Hospital, along the Aba road in Umuahia, and was hauled away by the armed hoodlums. ” It was a double- cross, ” he said. It was unclear whether the two kidnappings were carried out by the same gang in each instance.
Meanwhile, the authorities of the Umuahia Catholic Diocese had not yet issued an official statement on the kidnapping of the priest, but a police spokesman advised them to go to the police station and file a formal report on the incident in order for the police to begin an investigation into the incident.