The police in Anambra State have rescued two Catholic priests who were abducted by gunmen on Tuesday at Umueze Anam, in Anambra West Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The priests, Rev Fr Peter Nwachukwu, parish priest of St Theresa’s Church, Umueze-Anam, and Rev Fr Cajetan Apeh, an assistant priest of the parish, were rescued on December 27.
The Anambra State Police Command said the priests’ rescue was made possible by collaboration between men of the command and operatives of other security agencies.
The command’s Public Relations Officer, Haruna Mohammed, said the command deployed modern technology and aerial surveillance as a result of difficult terrain to track the hideout of the kidnappers.
He said, “Police special teams comprising of FSARS, PMF, Counter-terrorism and Special Anti-Cults units in conjunction with other sister agencies and the vigilance groups had mounted an intensive search and rescue operations for the priests since the incident took place.
“With the aid of modern technology and aerial surveillance due to the difficult terrain, the abductors were forced to abandon their victims at about 6.45 pm on Thursday.
“The victims, Rev Fr Peter Nwachukwu, parish priest of St Theresa’s Parish, Umueze-Anam, and Rev Fr Cajetan Apeh, who is the assistant priest, are now in stable condition and have since reunited with their religious congregation.
“It should be noted that the safety of the victims is the ultimate priority of the police in this situation. Consequently, effort is being intensified to apprehend perpetrators of this heinous crime in order to bring them to justice.”
In his reaction, the state Commissioner of Police, Garba Umar, reassured Anambra residents of their safety during the Yuletide and beyond.
Umar warned criminal elements in the state that Anambra was not a place to operate.