NIGERIA – Kidnapped Nigerian Priest Has Been Set Free

National Catholic Register | February 18, 2020

The Nigerian priest who was abducted by gunmen last week has been released. Fr. Nicholas Oboh was kidnapped last week in the southwest region of Nigeria and was freed Tuesday evening, his diocese reported.

“I am pleased to inform this house that our priest who was kidnapped last week Thursday, Rev. Fr. Nicolas Oboh, has regained his freedom,” a spokesman for the Diocese of Uromi told Nigerian Catholic leaders in a WhatsApp message Feb. 18.

“He was released this evening,” the spokesman said. ““Many thanks for your prayers and goodwill.”

The Uromi diocese is expected to release additional details about the priest’s release.

Nigerian media reported that several children were kidnapped at the same time Father Oboh was abducted Feb. 13. The condition and circumstances of those children are not yet known.

Father Oboh’s kidnapping is the latest in a series of abductions and killings in Nigeria which have involved Catholics and other Christians; clergy, seminarians, and lay people.

Earlier this week, suspected Islamist militants in Borno state staged an arson attack which killed 30 people, including a pregnant mother and her baby. The attack also destroyed 18 vehicles filled with food supplies for the region.

Seminarian Michael Nnadi, 18, was killed in late January, weeks after he and three other seminarians were abducted from their seminary in Nigeria. The seminarians kidnapped with Nnadi have been released, but one is facing life-threatening injuries.

Also in January, Rev. Lawan Andima, a local Government Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria and the married father of nine children, was beheaded by Boko Haram.

Archbishop Augustine Obiora Akubeze of Benin City said Andima was killed “simply because he was a Christian.”

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