The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has appealed to the abductors of the Auxiliary Catholic Bishop of Owerri, Bishop Moses Chikwe, to release him unhurt and without asking for ransom.
The group made the call in a statement signed by its Imo State Chairman, Revd. Eches Divine-Eches, on Tuesday in Owerri.
Divine-Eches said that the bishop’s abduction came as a rude shock to CAN, describing the incident as a “desecration of the Altar of God”.
He said that the bishop was a peaceful man, who discharged his duties without any malice, and wondered why he was the target of the kidnappers.
“The Imo State chapter of CAN has received with shock the news of the kidnap of the Auxiliary Catholic Bishop of Owerri, Rt. Revd. Moses Chikwe, and we condemn the act vehemently.
“Rt. Revd. Chikwe, since his assumption as the Auxiliary Catholic Bishop of Owerri, has discharged his duties quietly and without malice, which leaves one wondering why he is a target of kidnap.
“This is a desecration of the altar of God and we call on the perpetrators to release him immediately, unhurt and without ransom,” he said.
Divine-Eches appealed to the police commissioner in the state to ensure the perpetrators were caught and made to pay for the act.
The CAN chairman called on youths of the state to shun crime and avoid being used to perpetrate evil, while urging the Christian faithful to pray for the swift release of the bishop.
“The entire Christian community in Imo call on the Commissioner of Police to ensure that the perpetrators of this act of wickedness are fished out to face the music.
“We appeal to our teeming youths not to allow themselves to be used by the devil to wreak havoc and fear on our beautiful state.
“While we commit to continually offer prayers and supplication to God for the people and state at all times; we request that lives and property be secured so that people can move about without fear and intimidation.
“The Christian Association of Nigeria appeals to everyone to pray for the safe return of Bishop Chikwe.
“We assure you that we will leave no stone unturned to ensure his release, even as we engage the government and security agencies in the state.
“Surely, the good Lord will continue to protect us all and bring back the Auxiliary Catholic Bishop of Owerri safe and sound,” he added.