Fathers Kenneth Kanwa and Jude Nwachukwu, who were abducted from their Rectory at St. Vincent De Paul Fier Parish of Nigeria’s Catholic Diocese of Pankshin on February 1, 2024, have regained their freedom and are now undergoing medical examination.
In an interview with sources, Father Polycarp Lubo, the Chairman of the Plateau State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), confirmed the release of the two priests of the Congregation of Missionaries Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (CMF), also known as Claretian Missionaries.
Fr. Lubo has been quoted as saying that Fr. Kenneth Kanwa, the Parish Priest, and his assistant, Fr. Jude Nwachukwu, “were released in the early hours” of Thursday, February 8.
The CAN chairman, however, could not disclose “whether ransom was paid to secure the release of the Priests but said they had been taken to the hospital for medical check-ups.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, Plateau State Security Command, Alfred Alabo, also confirmed the release of the two members of the Claretian Missionaries.
Alabi said, “No suspects are in police custody yet as those apprehended by the local vigilantes to have committed the crime were never handed over to the police.”
The Provincial Secretary of the Claretian Missionaries, Fr. Dominic Ukpong, had announced the abduction of his two confreres in a statement he issued on February 2. He had then appealed for “prayers at this challenging time for their safety and quick release from captivity.”
Nigeria has been battling with a surge of violence orchestrated by gangs, whose members carry out indiscriminate attacks, kidnapping for ransom, and in some cases, killing.
Boko Haram insurgency has been a major challenge in the West African nation since 2009, a group that allegedly aims to turn Africa’s most populous nation into an Islamic nation.