Nigeria: Gunmen Abduct Four Catholic Reverend Sisters

The sisters were attacked and abducted while they were on the way to attend a thanksgiving service of another reverend sister in the area, an official said.

Gunmen have abducted four reverend sisters of the Catholic Church along Okigwe- Umulolo Road in Okigwe Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria’s South-east.

The incident happened on Sunday morning.

The abducted victims are members of the Sisters of Jesus, the Saviour Generelate, a religious group of the Catholic Church in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, South-south Nigeria.

The Secretary-General of the religious group, Zita Ihedoro, disclosed the incident in a statement on Sunday.

She gave the names of the victims as Johannes Nwodo, Christabel Echemazu, Liberata Mbamalu and Benita Agu.

“Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, it is with great pain that we bring to your notice the kidnapping of four of our sisters mentioned above,” Ms Ihedoro, also a reverend sister, said.

She said the victims were attacked and abducted while they were on the way to attend a thanksgiving service of another reverend sister in the area.

“We implore for an intense prayer for their quick and safe release,” she added.

The police spokesperson in the state, Michael Abattam, did not respond to calls and a text message seeking comments from him on the abduction.

Increase in abduction cases

Communities around Okigwe and Leru located between Imo and Abia States have witnessed increased incidents of abduction lately.

The latest incident occurred about nine days after gunmen abducted a catholic priest and a seminarian along Okigwe-Umunneochi Road, which is between the two states.

The victims were released two days later after reportedly paying a ransom to their abductors.

Barely 24 hours before the attack on the clerics, gunmen abducted a police officer at Mbala Divisional Police Headquarters in Isuochi Community, Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State.

The abducted officer, simply identified as Dickson, is a deputy superintendent of police, and the divisional crime officer in the police facility.

He was yet to be released, more than one week after.

Last month, gunmen abducted scores of passengers along the Enugu-Port Harcourt highway between Leru and Ihube Communities.

In July, gunmen abducted some travellers in Lokpanta, a community in Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State.

Mid-June, gunmen also abducted a journalist in Umuahia. He was released about five days later, after a N10 million ransom was reportedly paid.

Earlier in June, Uwadinachi Iweha, a medical doctor and the provost of Gregory University College of Medicine, Umuahia Campus, was also abducted.

He was whisked away while driving out of his residence at Umuajameze Ezeleke Umuopara in the Umuahia South Council Area of the state.

Mr Iweha is yet to be released, about two months after his abduction.

In May, Samuel Kanu-Uche, the Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, was abducted alongside two other priests, while they were on they were coming back from a programme in Umunneochi Local Government Area of the state.

The clerics were released about two days later after reportedly paying N100 million to the kidnappers.


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