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The Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has attributed the safe release and return of kidnapped Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Samuel Kanu-Uche, to what he described as divine intervention.
The Prelate was released alongside the Methodist Bishop of Owerri, Rt. Rev. Dennis Mark, and his (the Prelate’s) chaplain 24 hours after they were kidnapped.
Sharing his excitement about the development in a statement on Monday by his Chief Press Secretary, Sir Onyebuchi Ememanka, the governor stated that their release was through ‘grace of God, the fervent prayers of the Christian Community and the well-coordinated response from security agencies in Abia State’.
The statement read, ‘The Governor is grateful to God for His saving grace upon the Prelate of who is a son of Abia State.
‘Ikpeazu assured that security will be stepped up around the Isuikwuato – Umunneochi axis of the State where there has, in the recent past, been a spike in the activities of criminals.
‘The location of the area around the state’s borders with 4 states of Imo, Anambra, Enugu, and Ebonyi make it attractive to criminals who easily enter the State and also escape through any of these routes.
‘The Governor called for Inter State Collaboration with the neighboring states in securing those areas and stamp out the activities of criminals there.’
The Eastern Updates had reported that the cleric and the two other victims were returning from a programme in the Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State when the gunmen laid a siege to their vehicles and whisked them away.
As the news of the kidnapping became public knowledge, it threw the Methodist Church, the Christian Association of Nigeria, among other religious bodies, into prayer for their safe return home.
The Senator representing Abia North at the National Assembly, Orji Uzor Kalu, also pleaded with Imo and Abia States to ensure the release of the Prelate and the other two other victims.