By Chidi Nkwopara— OWERRI
Vehicular traffic along the ever-busy Wetheral Road, Owerri, Imo State, ground to a halt for hours on Thursday, as members of Owerri Archdiocesan Catholic Women Organisation, CWO, embarked on peaceful rosary procession, praying for the quick release of their Auxiliary Bishop, Most Rev. Moses Chikwe and his driver, Mr. Robert Ndubuisi, by their abductors.
The women lamented that four days after the Bishop and his driver were kidnapped by the hoodlums, not a word had been heard from either the hoodlums or their innocent captives.
The women prayed and sang religious songs throughout the procession, which started at Villa Maria Guest House and terminated at the Government House, Owerri.
Some of the placards carried by the angry Catholic mothers read: This is sacrilege; Release the Lord’s anointed; This is man’s inhumanity to God; Avoid the wrath of God; Stop this crime; Heaven bleeds for his servant, and Please, set our Bishop free.
Although the security personnel at the Government House gate informed the women that Governor Hope Uzodimma, and his Deputy, Professor Placid Njoku, were not readily available to address them, the Governor’s Security Adviser, Mr. Dan Okoro, a retired Commissioner of Police, later emerged and addressed the women.
Okoro said: “This is a very sad incident. The governor is a core Catholic and he is not happy about the incident. It has never been heard before that a bishop was kidnapped in Nigeria.
“A lot of discussions is going within the security circles. Government is aware that the entire scenario is suspicious and by the special grace of God, we will rescue the Bishop.”
Earlier in an address by the CWO Secretary, Mrs. Irene Mba, the women said that they are very worried about the safety of Bishop Chikwe and his driver.
“Why on earth would anybody raise his hand against God’s anointed? What has Bishop Chikwe and his driver done to anybody to deserve this humiliation and trauma?
“It is our fervent prayer that their abductors should release them unharmed.”
The women used the opportunity to raise the alarm over the deteriorating insecurity in the land and urged the government to speedily tackle it.
Vanguard recalls that since Bishop Chikwe and his driver were abducted last Sunday, nothing had been heard from either the hoodlums or their victims.