From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
The Catholic Priest of Ekiti Diocese, Most Rev. Felix Femi Ajakaye, has said no ransom was paid to secure the release of a priest of the Catholic diocese in the state, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Akingbade.
Reports, which could not be independently verified, said local hunters rescued the priest.
Fr. Akingbade, Assistant director of the Legal Department of the Diocese’s Justice Development and Peace Initiative (JDPI), was the Parish Priest of St. Benedict’s Catholic Church, Ido-Ekiti.
He confirmed this in an interaction with journalists in Ado-Ekiti, the capital, during the week.
He, however, admitted the abductors demanded N200m, which he noted was declined.
The bishop’s words: “This morning (last Tuesday) we thank God, we saw him, God did it and I thank everybody for their prayers because we rely on God, we believe in God and God can do anything.
“But we told our people not to abuse the abductors because we wouldn’t want the abductors to be cursed and we want things to change for the better in our state, the state of honour, and Nigeria as a whole. What happened to Fr. Akingbade happened to every member of the Church, so all over the world people were praying.
“They were even threatening that they would kill him and I told them that on the day he was ordained he had sacrificed himself. But we were still negotiating. They asked me how much we could afford, I said even one kobo, we can not afford.
“We thank God, God took control, we told them we would be praying, that we would not even curse them. I told them that they should know that they are children of God, that Father should be released unconditionally, that we are not paying them.
“I pray that what has happened to Fr. Akingbade would put an end to all these nonsense in Ekiti state, particularly abduction”.
Ajakaye described abduction and other vices bedeviling the country, especially Ekiti, as “a menace that must be fixed,” noting the kidnap of a whole catholic priest is a message that “nobody is safe”.
He said: “This thing must be addressed and all of us must speak against it.it is unfortunate that what we had not experienced before in Ekiti is now happening. But must we keep quiet? No. ”
He equally maintained the security operatives must be well equipped to be able to tackle the various security challenges in the country.