The councils of clergy and the knights of the Niger Delta North Diocese of the Anglican Communion have called for the unconditional release of Archbishop of the Niger Delta Province, Bishop of Niger Delta North diocese, Most Reverend Ignatius Kattey and vowed not to pay ransom.
Most Reverend Kattey, who is the Dean of the Anglican Communion and the second highest ranking clergy to the Primate of the Anglican Communion in Nigeria, was kidnapped by unknown abductors on the night of September 6, 2013, Friday, around Aleto-Eleme in Eleme local government area of the state.
The bishop’s wife, Beatrice, was left alone by the kidnappers at the nearby bush, as well their car.
The whereabouts of the clergy remain unknown for the third day.
Meanwhile, the Rivers state police command said it had initiated a rescue operation to get him freed from the clutches of the kidnappers.
At the joint press briefing by the two councils, Venerable Richard Opara and Sir Charles Ogundu-Chukwu, said neither the Church nor the family had been contacted by the kidnappers.
But they noted that the church would not pay any ransom.
“All we are asking for his unconditional release of the Arch-bishop.”
The councils of Knights and the Clergymen, called on the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi to intervene in the matter with urgency to ensure the timely release of the senior clergy.
“The news came to us as a shock and as we speak, the bishop is still in the hands of the captors. We wonder the offence of the God’s servant and why Archbishop Kattey would be abducted.
“We condemn it and we therefore ask for the unconditional release of the Bishop. We call on the IGP, the governor of Rivers state and the president to expedite action on his unconditional release”, the councils stated.
Asked if the church would be paying should the abductors demand ransom for the release of their leader, the councils said “we have said in our statement that we want an unconditional release of His Grace, the archbishop, ransom doesn’t come in”.
Symbolically, all the Clergymen were all dressed in black cassock. The knights, wore black trousers. They all prayed for the safety and speedy release of Bishop Kattey and called for divine judgement on his abductors.
It has been reliably gathered that the Youths of Eleme in Eleme local government area would be staging a peaceful protest on September 9, 2013, Monday, over the abduction of the archbishop, who also hails from their area. This has been confirmed by a clergy from the area, Reverend Godwin Ollor, who said to the press in Port Harcourt that the youths are angry at the development.
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