Religious congregation grateful after release of abducted nuns, seminarian in Nigeria — By: Catholic News Agency

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. The group was released Oct. 13-14, 2023. / Credit: Missionary Daughters of Mater Ecclesiae in Nigeria

ACI Africa, Oct 19, 2023 / 14:00 pm (CNA).

The leadership of the Missionary Daughters of Mater Ecclesiae (MDME) in Nigeria has expressed appreciation to the people of God following the release of three Catholic nuns, a seminarian, and their driver who were abducted from Nigeria’s Abakaliki Diocese on Oct. 5.

In a statement shared with ACI Africa, CNA’s news partner in Africa, on Thursday, MDME Vicar General Sister Gloria Nnabuchi provided details about the release of Sister Rosemary Ejiowokeoghere Osiowhemu, Sister Maria Ngozi Okoye of the Risen Lord, Sister Josephine Mary Chinyekwuo, seminarian Peter Eyakeno Sunday, and Awoke Emmanuel.

“With gratitude to our great God, the superior general and the entire members of the Missionary Daughters of Mater Ecclesiae joyfully announce the safe release of our three kidnapped nuns, a seminarian, and the driver on the night of Oct. 13 and Oct. 14, respectively,” Nnabuchi said in the statement dated Oct. 14.

“We sincerely appreciate the Church and all the people of goodwill for your kind support throughout this trial moment,” she added. “Thanks and God bless you all.”

In an interview with ACI Africa, Nnabuchi said a ransom of “1 million Naira [$1,305]” had been paid for their release.

The five were on their way to a burial in Nigeria’s Imo State when they came in contact with their abductors.

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

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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