Dean of the Anglican Communion in Nigeria and Archbishop, Niger Delta North Diocese, Archbishop Ignatius Kattey, has been abducted by unknown gunmen in Rivers State.
The 65 year old clergyman, along with his wife, Beatrice was captured on Aleto bridge,Eleme in Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State at about 10.30pm on Friday, but the wife was later found abandoned in their car.
Sources close to the archbishop said he was driving to Port Harcourt to pass the night there so he could be at the airport to receive the Primate of the church, Primate Nicolas Oko, who was due in the state Saturday.
The sources explained that Kattey had thought that yesterday’s sanitation exercise in the state that would have warranted restriction of movement would be in force; so he wanted to be at the airport quite early to receive the Primate who was coming to Rivers on Episcopal issues. But unknown to him, the exercise did not hold because of the GCE-WAEC examination that took place.
The kidnappers later abandoned the archbishop’s wife and his vehicle in the bush some distance away from where the abduction took place. No contact had so far been established with the gunmen.
Speaking on his abduction, a member of the Anglican Church in Port Harcourt said, “He has a driver. But he does not move around with security escorts. He is such a simple and exemplary religious leader. I pray for his unconditional and immediate release”.
Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Angela Agabe, confirmed the ugly development, adding that efforts were on to rescue the archbishop.
Agabe said the police gave the kidnappers a hot chase when they were alerted about the abduction; a situation she said forced the kidnappers to abandon the wife in the bush around Aleto.
According to her, the police had set up a crack search team, assuring that they would soon secure Kattey’s release.
“We are on top of the situation. Our men rescued the wife who was kidnapped with him last night. We are combing the bush and exploring other means to secure his release”, she said.
In the hierarchy of the Anglican Communion, ArchBishop Kattey who was made a Dean of Anglican Communion in Nigeria about a year ago is next to the Primate, Most Rev.Nicholas Okoh.