The Catholic priest, Joseph Azubike, abducted on Monday by gunmen in Ebonyi State, South-east Nigeria, has been set free.
He was released on Tuesday alongside three others abducted with him.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported how Mr Azubike, the parish priest of St. Charles Parish, Mgbaleze Isu, in Onicha Local Government Area of the state, was abducted near the church while returning from his pastoral duties.
Another priest, Mathew Opoke, who is the chancellor of the Abakaliki Diocese, confirmed the release of the priest in a statement on Tuesday night.
He said the priest was released unconditionally even though the gunmen initially demanded an undisclosed amount of money as ransom.
The chancellor thanked Governor Ogbonnaya Nwifuru of Ebonyi State, security agencies and youths of the community for their efforts to secure the release of the priest and the three others.
“The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Psalm 46:7.
“It is a thing of joy that God answered our prayers and gazetted the unconditional release of His servant in a very remarkable way.
“We are grateful to God for effecting this release. We are grateful to all those who swung into action on hearing the ugly news of his abduction together with three other persons,” Mr Opoke said in the statement celebrating the release of the priest and others.
The police have also confirmed the release of the four people.
Abduction for ransom has become a prevalent crime in most Nigerian cities. Everyone, including students, school children, and clerics, appears to be an easy target.
Thirty-nine Catholic priests were killed, while 30 were abducted in 2022, according to a report.
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