Abuja (Agenzia Fides) – While Father Kingsley Maduka, the parish priest of the Catholic parish of Christ the King, Ezinnachi-Ugwaku, Okigwe L.G.A., in the State of Imo, in south-eastern Nigeria, is finding his freedom, kidnapped on May 19 (see Fides, 22/5/2023), released on May 22, kidnappings in Nigeria continue unabated in Nigeria, affecting both young people participating in volunteer programs and pastors of the so-called "new churches".
On the evening of May 23, the popular telepreacher Rev. Mike Ochigbo of Freedom Power Chapel was forcibly taken from his home in Yola, capital of north-eastern Nigeria's Adamawa State. Another pastor, John Moses, was also kidnapped that same night at around 2am by gunmen who broke into his home. According to the local press, these two kidnappings are the latest in a series of kidnappings for extortion purposes in the area, which is not far from a military barracks of the 23rd Armored Brigade.
The scourge of kidnapping also extends to young people serving in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC, a type of paramilitary volunteer service). In the south of the country, seven NYSC members abducted a week ago after attending a NYSC orientation camp in Ondo state have been released.
According to ActionAid Nigeria, the kidnapping industry is expanding: more than 5 billion naira (over 10 million euros) have been paid in ransoms in the last five years. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 25/5/2023)