.- A Catholic priest in Nigeria is recovering from a week of abduction.
Harrison Egwuenu, a priest from the Diocese of Warri, Delta State, was released on March 21st. Benedict Okutegbe, administrator of the Sacred Heart Cathedral in the city of Warri, confirmed on Thursday.
Okutegbe told ACI Africa, CNA’s African news partner, “We are God for the safe release of Father Dr. Harrison Egwuenu. “
He added: “Ms. Egwuenu is fine. Of course, he needs time to overcome the traumatic experience. “
The priest, who previously served as director of social communications for the Diocese of Warri, thanked the Catholics for their prayers for Egwuenu’s release.
“We have all prayed and our prayers have been answered. Glory to God, ”he commented.
Egwuenu was abducted on March 15 when he returned to St. George’s College in Obinomba, where he was recently appointed headmaster.
Okutegbe previously informed ACI Africa that Egwuenu was confiscated by unknown armed men around 8 p.m. in Oria-Abraka, Ethiope East Local Government Area.
Nigeria has been unsafe since 2009 when a Boko Haram uprising began to transform the country into an Islamic state.
Since then, the organization, which is one of the largest Islamist groups in Africa, has organized terrorist attacks on a variety of targets, including religious and political groups, as well as civilians.
The insecurity in the West African nation has also increased due to the actions of mostly Muslim Fulani shepherds, who often clashed with Christian farmers over pastureland.
Speaking to ACI Africa on March 25, Okutegbe called on the government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, to put the safety of the 201 million Nigerian citizens first.
“One of the main tasks of the government is to protect the lives and property of its citizens,” he said.
“The government must get to work and keep Nigeria safe and peaceful.”
“The government should be aware of this responsibility or give way to someone who can.”
“How can there be sustainable development in a country whose security architecture has collapsed?”
“We are demanding more from our government. Not tomorrow, but now. “
The Catholic bishops of Nigeria have repeatedly urged the government to take tough measures to protect the population.
“It is just inconceivable and inconceivable to celebrate Nigeria at 60 when our roads are not safe. Our people are being kidnapped and are selling their property to pay ransom to criminals, ”said members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria in a statement on October 1st to mark the country’s Independence Day.
They added: “Nigerians are witnessing an invasion of armed Fulani herders into their farmlands. A well-organized group already named the fourth deadliest terrorist group in the world by the Global Terrorism Index. “
A version of this story was first published by ACI Africa, CNA’s African news partner, and written by Jude Atemanke. It was adapted by CNA.