Gunmen have kidnapped Reverend Father Christian Ike, a Catholic priest based in Anambra State. The abduction took place on Sunday at Amagu Junction, Ndiokpaleke in Ajali community, Orumba North Local Government Area. Another individual was also taken alongside Father Ike.

Eyewitnesses reported that the priest was returning from an early morning Mass at St. Michael Catholic Church with several others when their vehicle was ambushed. While two other occupants managed to escape, the assailants captured Father Ike and another person, along with some personal belongings.

The Anambra State Police Command has confirmed the incident and launched an extensive search operation. Tochukwu Ikenga, the police spokesman, stated that both intelligence and operational assets have been deployed to rescue the victims unharmed.

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“The Anambra State Police Command received the information of the abduction of Rev Father Christian Ike and has deployed its intelligence and operational assets for their possible rescue. According to eyewitnesses, the priest and two others were ambushed at around 10:30 am on June 16, 2024, as they were returning from St. Michael Catholic Church, Ndiokpaleke,” Ikenga said.

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The Diocese of Ekwulobia has called for prayers for the safe return of the kidnapped individuals. In a letter from the Diocesan Chancellor, Rev. Fr. Lawrence Nwankwo, the diocese urged the community to pray for the release of Rev. Fr. Christian Ike and Mr. Ogbonnia Anike.

This incident marks the second abduction of a Catholic priest in Anambra in recent months. On May 15, Reverend Father Basil Gbuzuo was kidnapped near Onitsha and later released after a ransom was paid.

The police have assured the public that efforts are ongoing to apprehend the kidnappers and secure the safe return of the victims. Further updates will be provided as the situation develops.

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