The Second-in-Hierarchy to the Primate of the Anglican Church, Nigeria, Archbishop Ignatius Kattey, and his wife, Beatrice, were on Friday night kidnapped near Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Kattey, who is also the Dean/Archbishop/Bishop of the Niger Delta North of the Anglican Communion, and wife were on their way to Port Harcourt, when the kidnappers struck by the bridge at Aleto-Eleme near the Rivers state capital, in Eleme Local Government Area.
The gunmen seized the cleric, an indigene of Aleto-Eleme, and his wife around 11:30 pm. Beatrice was later abandoned with their car, while the kidnappers moved the Archbishop to an unknown destination.
The Archbishop’s whereabouts remain unknown, while no demand for ransom had been made.
The Rivers Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, who had been at loggerheads with the Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu, since his redeployment from the Oyo State Command in February this year, said the police boss should be held responsible for the spate of insecurity in the Niger Delta state.
Kattey’s kidnap occurred barely two weeks after the Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, Fred Igwe, was shot at Akpajo-Eleme in the same Eleme LGA of Rivers state on August 25.
Igwe, who was shot by assassins that aimed at his head, but narrowly escaped with injuries, is still responding to treatment in an undisclosed hospital in the state.
The Rivers sports commissioner, who was with two other persons in the Toyota Corolla saloon car, marked: GCG 11, had the vehicle riddled with bullets, thereby creating deep holes on it, during the attack around 8:15 pm.
Kattey, who was made the Dean of the Anglican Communion in Nigeria about a year ago, is described as a very simple and easy-going cleric.
It was learnt on Saturday that the kidnapped cleric was expecting the Primate, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), the Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, in Port Harcourt on Saturday and decided to leave his house in Aleto-Eleme on Friday night, to sleep in Port Harcourt and put finishing touches to preparations to welcome him.
It could not be confirmed as at press time if Okoh was still able to visit Rivers state, in view of the unfortunate development, with Anglicans and others now praying for the immediate release unhurt of the cleric.
It was also gathered that the Archbishop and his wife were driving to Port Harcourt late in the night to beat the traffic restrictions of Saturday morning, occasioned by the monthly environmental sanitation exercise, but unknown to them, the Sole Administrator of the authority, Ade Adeogun, earlier announced that the exercise would not hold, in view of the ongoing GCE/WAEC examinations.
Sources also indicated that Kattey’s wife was not immediately released by the kidnappers, but was moved with her husband into Aleto-Eleme bush, while the intensive combing of the forest by policemen and members of the Anglican Church was responsible for dropping of Beatrice, when they were closing in on them.
Aleto-Eleme, where the kidnap took place, is near the two Port Harcourt refineries in Eleme and the Indorama-Eleme Petrochemical Company.