By ACNS staff
The Anglican Communion has given thanks to God for the safe release of the Church of Nigeria's second most senior cleric, Archbishop Ignatius Kattey.
Provincial Dean Abp Kattey and his wife were kidnapped more than a week ago by armed men near their residence in the southern city of Port Harcourt. Mrs Kattey was later abandoned by the kidnappers.
Statements of concern and prayers were issued around the Anglican Communion, not least from the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby who has visited Nigeria many times.
According to police spokesperson Angela Agabe Archbishop Kattey was released by his captors at around 6.30pm on Saturday behind a filling station at Eleme in Rivers State.
One news report stated that Archdeacon of Eleme Archdeaconary, the Ven. Israel Omosioni, told Nigerian journalists that the Archbishop was looking "hale and hearty" despite his ordeal.
The Ven. Omosoni also revealed that his kidnappers had even given him N200 to to pay for his transport home.
From the moment the news broke on Saturday, members of the Anglican Communion expressed thanks and relief for the Archbishop's safe return.
A statment on the Archbishop of Canterbury's website said he "gave thanks" following the release of the Nigerian Archbishop.
Bishop of Cameroon, the Rt Revd Dibo Elango wrote, "His Grace... is back home. We thank God Almighty. All Glory to the Lord, in the name of our Lord Jesus. Amen."
Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese in Europe the Rt Revd David Hamid said, "We give thanks for his freedom and return to his wife, family and Church community."
Expression of thanks to God that the cleric had been returned safely also appeared on a range of social media sites from Anglicans and Episcopalians in countries including Canada, the USA, England and across the African continent.
Archbishop Kattey is the Archbishop of Niger Delta Province and the Bishop of Niger Delta North.