The Bishop of Ahoada, Clement Ekpeye, has been abducted from his home in Nigeria’s Rivers State by unknown gunmen. The assailants stormed the Bishop’s Court residence in the Ahoada East local government area around 7.00 pm WAT (6.00 pm GMT) on Tuesday night (18 December). Deputy Superintendent Nnamdi Omoni of Rivers State Police said that officers from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad were leading the investigation and search for Bishop Clement.
The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, said that he was “distraught” to hear about the abduction. “This is absolutely terrible news”, he said. “My heart goes out to his wife Edna, the rest of his family and everyone in his diocese. I would urge the whole Anglican Communion to join me in praying for his safe release.”
The Diocese of Ahoada is in the internal province of Niger Delta in the Anglican Church of Nigeria.
In September 2013, Archbishop Ignatius Kattey, the Dean of Niger Delta, was kidnapped along with his wife Beatrice near their home in Port Harcourt, the state capital. His wife was released a short time later but Archbishop Ignatius was held for a week before being released. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said that he was “moved to tears” as he welcomed the archbishop to Lambeth Palace a short while later.