Reverend Canon Bernard Hanson, the Vicar of St Jude’s Anglican Church Odiemerenyi in Ahoada Diocese of the Anglican Communion and also the Clerical Synod Secretary of the diocese has been kidnapped.
He was traveling in the company Rev. Canon Umegbewe Jerome who managed to escape in the melee that ensured at the scene of the abduction.
The senior Anglican priest was abducted along Umuapu-Elele-Owerri-Port Harcourt road axis on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at about 8pm.
Confirming the kidnap, the Bishop of Ahoada Diocese, Rt. Rev. Clement Nathan Ekpeye described the abduction of the Clerical Synod Secretary of the diocese, Rev Canon Hanson Bernard as a sign of the end time
Rt Rev Ekpeye who stated this at Ahoada was reacting to the incident that happened Wednesday, June 26, 2019 along the Umuapu area of Owerri-Port Harcourt road.
According to press statement issued on behalf of the Bishop Ekpeye and made availabe to Our Correspondent in Port Harcourt was signed by Comrade Ogboka Chris Umeda, the Diocesan Communicator, said: “the incident happened in the evening when Canon Hanson Bernard and Canon Umegbewe Jerome were journeying back to Port Harcourt after a clerical travel outside Rivers State”.
Bishop Ekpeye who was also a victim of kidnap was abducted on Tuesday 18th December, 2018 in the Ahoada East Local Government Area by some unknown persons said the abduction of the two priests are one too many that has happened in recent time maintaining that abduction of men of God has grave and spiritual consequences.
He said while efforts are been made to ensure his quick and unconditional release, the prayer and spirituality department of the diocese has been commissioned to begin a prayer session against the ugly trend. The bishop also admonished members of the diocese to join hands in prayers from where ever they are as the church has been challenged
Rt. Rev Clement Ekpeye also commended the Vicar of Ihuaba parish, Rev Canon Umegbewe Jerome, who was in company of the Synod Secretary, for managing to escape in the mist of the confusion that ensued at the scene and called on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency tackle insecurity as there is palpable fear in the air
He however, assured that nothing shall happen to Canon Hanson as the Lord shall protect him even as communication has been established with the abductors.
Newsmen were not privileged to know the mode of communications established and the mood of negotiations going on between the Diocese of Ahoada and the abductors.
What is however clear is that kidnapping in Nigeria an illicit business carried out by the abductors for purely pecuniary reason.