Sisters issue appeal for ‘safe release’ of 3 nuns who were abducted from Nigerian diocese

Nigerian nuns abducted Three nuns, a seminarian, and the driver of the vehicle they were in were abducted in Nigeria’s Imo State on Oct. 5, 2023. The nuns’ order, the Missionary Daughters of Mater Ecclesiae, appealed for their safe release in an Oct. 6 statement. | Credit: Missionary Daughters of Mater Ecclesiae (MDME) in Nigeria

Prayers are being sought for the “safe release” of three Catholic nuns, a seminarian, and a driver reportedly abducted from Nigeria’s Abakaliki Diocese.

In a note to ACI Africa on Tuesday, Oct. 10, the vicar general of the Missionary Daughters of Mater Ecclesiae (MDME) in Nigeria, Sister Gloria Nnabuchi, provides the identity of the five, who were abducted on Oct. 5 en route to a burial in Nigeria’s Imo State.

The abductees include Sister Rosemary Ejiowokeoghere Osiowhemu, Sister Maria Ngozi Okoye of the Risen Lord, and Sister Josephine Mary Chinyekwuo. The other two are seminarian Peter Eyakeno Sunday and Awoke Emmanuel.

The abductors have reached out to MDME leadership in Nigeria and proposed a ransom for the release of the abductees. 

In another statement shared with ACI Africa, the vicar general of MDME appealed for prayers and provided further details of the abduction of their members.

“The superior general and the members of the Missionary Daughters of Mater Ecclesiae are soliciting prayers from all people of goodwill for the safe release of our three sisters, one seminarian of the Missionary Sons of the Most Holy Trinity, and one driver,” Nnabuchi said in the Oct. 6 statement.

She added: “They were kidnapped [Oct. 5] on their way to Mbano, Imo State for the burial of one of our sisters’ mothers.”

“Please, any vital information will be highly appreciated as you join us to pray for divine intervention,” Nnabuchi said.

Nigeria has been experiencing insecurity since 2009 when Boko Haram insurgency began with the aim of turning the country into an Islamic state.

Since then, the group, one of largest Islamist groups in Africa, has been orchestrating indiscriminate terrorist attacks on various targets, including religious and political groups as well as civilians.

The insecurity situation in the country has further been complicated by the involvement of the predominantly Muslim Fulani herdsmen, also referred to as the Fulani Militia.

This story was first published by ACI Africa, CNA’s news partner in Africa, and has been adapted by CNA.

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