CAN demands unconditional release of Anglican Archbishop as Ozhekhome regains freedom

Can President Pastor Oritsejafor

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has called for the unconditional release of the Anglican Archbishop of Niger Delta Province, Rev Ignatius Kattey, who was kidnapped on Sept 6.

Making the demand, CAN President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, also called for more severe punishment for kidnappers.

The press statement, which was signed by Mr. Kenny Ashaka, Special Adviser on media to the CAN president, urged the kidnappers of the archbishop not to harm him.

He observed that kidnapping had heightened the insecurity in the country, while stating that the crime should be treated as armed robbery and terrorism.

The statement by CAN read: “The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, received with a feeling of dismay, the news of the kidnapping of the Archbishop of the Niger Delta Province of the Anglican Communion of Nigeria, His Grace, Most Reverend Ignatius Kattey and his wife, Beatrice, who has been released.

“Pastor Oritsejafor observes that the action of crime of forcibly taking away or holding somebody prisoner, usually for ransom has become a showy display, a kind of publicity stunt in ways that explain the serious insecurity in Nigeria.  While the activities of the kidnappers are awash with prominent Nigerians abducted, the manner of abduction, the location those taken were freed from and sometimes the cost of freedom, government seems incapable of dealing with the situation.

In a related development, Mike Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), was early Thursday morning, Sept. 12, freed by his abductors. The freed human rights activist, according to reports, has gone to Lagos to join his family.

There was jubilation in his Oviukwe community in Etsako East Local Government Council of Edo State following his release by his abductors. It was learnt that he was abandoned near Agbor at about 1am.

Ozekhome, a prominent  Human rights lawyer, was abducted on Aug. 23 at Ehor, near Benin City, in Edo State and taken away with his driver to an unknown destination.

Some prominent lawyers and human rights activists on Thursday hailed the release of the legal practitioner while urging government to intensify efforts in addressing the security challenges in the country.



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