By Patrick Odey
A Catholic priest, Felix Akpan, has been kidnapped by yet-to-be identified gunmen along Abak-Ukanafun Road in Akwa Ibom State.
Father Akpan is in charge of St. Michael De Archangel Parish at Ikot Etim in Ukanafun Local Government Area.
NEXT EDITION learned the gunmen forced the priest out of his vehicle, bundled him into their waiting car and sped off to an unknown destination.
The clergyman was returning from the Top Faith International School, Mkpatak in Essien Udim Local Government Area, where he also serves as a teacher.
“They forced him out of his car at gunpoint and bundled into their car and sped off,” a witness who pleaded not to be named said.
The leadership of the Catholic Dioceses of Ikot Ekpene where the abducted priest served declined to speak on the matter when contacted by our correspondent.
However, the Akwa Ibom State Police Commissioner, Donald Awunah, confirmed the incident, saying detectives have been deployed to rescue the priest.
Mr. Awunah said the police have recovered the clergyman’s vehicle at a mechanic workshop and some suspects arrested.
“We are closing in on the kidnappers. We have recovered his car in a mechanic garage and arrested those in custody of the vehicle who are now helping us in our investigation,” Mr. Awunah said.
He assured that the Police would intensify investigation to ensure the priest regained his freedom without being hurt.
Mr. Awunah, however, appealed to the public to cooperate with the Police by volunteering useful information on criminal elements in their neighbourhoods.