Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Monday 01 March |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Giovanna Maria Bonomo
home iconNews
line break icon

Kidnappers release Nigerian bishop after almost a week

Bishop Moses Chikwe of Owerri Archdiocese

Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri | Facebook | Fair Use

John Burger - published on 01/04/21

Bishop Moses Chikwe and his driver free on New Year's Day.

A Nigerian Catholic bishop who was kidnapped in late December was released on New Year’s Day.

Auxiliary Bishop Moses Chikwe of the Archdiocese of Owerri, along with his driver, were released on the evening of January 1.

“With gratitude to God, I hereby inform all Christ’s Faithful and People of good will everywhere that at about 10:00 pm on 1 January 2021, His Lordship, Most Rev. Moses Chikwe and Mr. Ndubuisi Robert, his driver, who were abducted in the evening of Sunday the 27 December 2020 were finally released,” announced Archbishop Anthony Obinna of Owerri. “I personally visited and saw Bishop Chikwe in his residence at about 10:45 pm, looking very weak from the traumatic experience. Nevertheless, we continue to thank Almighty God for His goodness to us.”

Archbishop Obinna said he did not see Robert, the driver, because he had been quickly taken to hospital for treatment of a deep cut he received on his hand from the kidnappers.

Armed men kidnapped Bishop Chikwe, 53, and his driver as the bishop was returning from a visit to his residence in Owerri, in Imo State, in Nigeria’s southeast. 

In remarks following the Angelus prayer on New Year’s Day, Pope Francis appealed for Bishop Chikwe and his driver’s release. “We ask the Lord that they and all those who are victims of similar acts in Nigeria may return unharmed to freedom and that that dear country may regain security, concord and peace,” Pope Francis said.

Archbishop Obinna thanked Pope Francis for the appeal

“I sincerely thank the Holy Father, Pope Francis, for mentioning the captivity of Bishop Moses Chikwe and Mr. Ndubuisi Robert and praying for their release at his New Year Angelus Message at the Vatican just hours before they regained their freedom,” said Archbishop Obinna.

Obinna thanked the Imo and Anambra State Governments in Nigeria, together with their security wings for their efforts to secure the release of Bishop Chikwe and his driver.

A spokesperson of the State Police Command, Orlando Ikeokwu, said that Bishop Chikwe and his driver were released unharmed and without any ransom paid, thanks to the police’s operation in Imo State, Vatican News reported.

Nigerian flag

Read more:
Bishop kidnapped in Nigeria just over a week after priest released


Read more:
Nigerian bishop suggests that a genocide is happening in his nation

Christians in Africa
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
V. M. Traverso
The 9 oldest images of Mary
Jacques Fesch
Brother Silas Henderson, SDS
Meet the Death Row prisoner who discovered a ...
Cerith Gardiner
12 Things every Catholic woman should have in her purse
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
Cerith Gardiner
10 Celebrities whose marriages have stood the test of time
Lucandrea Massaro
This 3D “carbon copy” of Jesus was created using the ...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.