Gunmen on Thursday night kidnapped the catholic priest of St Michael’s Catholic church parish in Umuekebi community in the Osuoweerre autonomous community in the Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo state, Rev Fr Kingsley Eze, popularly known as father Ichie.
The priest and another man identified as Uchenna Newman, who drove the priest in a Volvo jeep were kidnapped at Orie ama junction around 8pm on Thursday.
Apart from the kidnap of the priest and the man who drove him, the criminals also robbed shop owners at the junction before leaving the scene.
A parishioner who doesn’t want to be mentioned told our correspondent that the congregants were terrified by the abduction of the priest and the other person.
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 Orie ama junction on Thursday. Around 8pm.
“They drop in 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.
An indigene of the area told our correspondent that the incident is not the first in the environ in a while.
He said “last night, around 8:30, an artesian and a Rev father were kidnapped at orieama junction. Several other shops were robbed and destroyed by the kidnappers who operated on two motorcycles.
“The name of the priest is Rev’d Fr Kingsley Eze popularly known as father Ichie of St Michael’s Catholic church at Umuekebi community. The person kidnapped alongside him is known as Uche Newman. This is the third kidnapping taking place within a space of tweeks on the Anara Umuelemai road.
“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. Criminals are terrorizing us here.
“They came with two motorbikes
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 very late last night.
“The names of the former people that have been kidnapped and later released after some ransoms were paid last week are, Mr Ezeji from Mbeke community. Mr Buchi, A popular meat and cow seller at Umuelemia junction.
The spokesperson for the police in the State, Henry Okoye, had yet to react to the incident.