Anglican Archbishop kidnapped in Nigeria


Anglican Archbishop kidnapped in Nigeria


George Conger

The Archbishop of the Province of the Niger Delta, the Most Rev. Ignatius Kattey, Bishop of Niger Delta North, has been kidnapped.

On the evening of 6 Sept 2013 at approximately 10:30 pm while driving to Port Harcourt, the archbishop and his wife were stopped by gunmen in Eleme.  A Rivers State police spokesman told the News Agency of Nigeria the kidnappers abandoned the car and Mrs. Kattey and fled into the bush with the archbishop.  No demand for ransom has yet been received.

Kidnapping for ransom has reached epidemic proportions in southern Nigeria in recent years.  Over 300 foreigners have been held for ransom since 2006, and almost all have been released unharmed after the payment of ransom.  The seizure of wealthy businessmen, politicians and civic leaders has become an almost daily occurrence, with the Anglican bishops of Ngbo and Benin held for ransom in 2010.

In September 2010, the Bishop of Ngbo, the Rt. Rev. Christian Ebisike’s car was stopped at a roadblock as he was driving to Owerri. The next day the bishop was released by his abductors on the Ontisha – Owerri road.  It is not known if a ransom was paid.

On 24 Jan 2010 the Rt. Rev. Peter Imasuen, Bishop of Benin was also kidnapped at his home in Benin City, the capital of Edo State in Southern Nigeria.

Bishop Imasuen was abducted by armed gunmen who followed home after Sunday services at St Matthew’s Cathedral.  As his car entered the walled compound of his home, bandits forced their way inside, overpowering a watchman.  The bishop was bundled into a car by gunmen and driven away.  A ransom of $300,000 was demanded, and the bishop was released unharmed four days later.  Church leaders declined to state whether the ransom was paid.