By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu
The Vicar of St Jude's Anglican Church Odiemerenyi in Ahoada Diocese of the Anglican Communion, Reverend Canon Bernard Hanson, has been kidnapped.
Hanson was traveling in the company of Rev. Canon Umegbewe Jerome who managed to escape in the melee that ensured at the scene of the abduction.
The senior Anglican priest was abducted along Umuapu-Elele-Owerri-Port Harcourt road axis on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at about 8pm. He is also the Clerical Synod Secretary of the diocese.
Confirming the kidnap, the Bishop of Ahoada Diocese, Rt. Rev. Clement Nathan Ekpeye, described the abduction of the Clerical Synod Secretary of the diocese as a sign of the end time.
Rt Rev Ekpeye who stated this at Ahoada was reacting to the incident that happened Wednesday, June 26, along the Umuapu area of Owerri-Port Harcourt Road.
According to a press statement issued on behalf of Bishop Ekpeye and signed by Comrade Ogboka Chris Umeda, the Diocesan Communicator, said the incident happened in the evening when Canon Hanson Bernard and Canon Umegbewe Jerome were journeying back to Port Harcourt after a clerical travel outside Rivers State.
Bishop Ekpeye, who was also a victim of kidnap, was abducted on Tuesday 18th December, 2018, in the Ahoada East Local Government Area by some unknown persons, said the abduction of the two priests was among the many that had happened in recent time, even as he maintained that the abduction of men of God had grave and spiritual consequences.
He said while efforts were being made to ensure his quick and unconditional release, the prayer and spirituality department of the diocese had been commissioned to begin a prayer session against the ugly trend. The bishop also admonished members of the diocese to join hands in prayers from where ever they were as the Church had been challenged.
Rt. Rev Clement Ekpeye also commended the Vicar of Ihuaba Parish, Rev Canon Umegbewe Jerome, who was in company of the Synod Secretary, for managing to escape in the midst of the confusion that ensued at the scene and called on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency tackle insecurity, noting that there was palpable fear in the country.
He however, assured that nothing would happen to Canon Hanson as God would protect him. He said that communication had been established with the abductors.