Onaiyekan Archbishop decries failure to rescue kidnapped catholic priest

Onaiyekan noted that for over one year Oyaka had been missing and there had been no call or demand for ransom made by his abductors.

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Christians, rise up and Christianise Nigeria - Cardinal Onaiyekan play

Christians, rise up and Christianise Nigeria - Cardinal Onaiyekan

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The Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has  bemoaned the  failure of security agencies to rescue missing  Rev. Fr. Gabriel Oyaka  from his abductors after more than one year.

Onaiyekan expressed the view at a press briefing following a mass  in honour of  the missing priest in Abuja on Thursday.

Oyaka was the financial secretary of  the Congregation of Holy Ghost Fathers and was abducted in October 2015 while he was travelling from Abuja to Onitsha, Anambra, for a meeting.

Onaiyekan noted that for over one year Oyaka had been missing and there had been no call or demand for ransom made by his abductors.

‘“We have reported the matter to a senior Director in the Department of State Security.  Youths, hunters from Okene and the police were in the bush for three days looking for him. Three police commands are involved FCT, Kogi and Edo.

“This is a tragedy that has overtaken our land and the name keeps on recurring that Fulani herdsmen are behind all these killings, kidnappings and destructions of lives and property in the country.

“The government has a responsibility to protect lives and properties of its citizens and the church cannot do anything except the government do their job.

“From my own observation, we are faced with national emergency and the whole country should come together to find out ways to end this militancy.

‘’If it is a matter of declaring war, let us declare war against the perpetrators of all these evils,” he said.

Onaiyekan appealed to all religious leaders to  come together  and  find a lasting solution to the unlawful killing of innocent people.

We must know that what is happening in our country is going round the world but we will continue to pray for the system which has failed us to improve,” he added.

On his part, Rev. Fr. Daniel Abba, former Provincial Superior of the Holy Ghost Congregation, North-West Nigeria, said that Nigerians should  all contribute towards  lasting peace in the country.

Abba said the security agents who were  searching  for the missing priest did their  best although their performance  remained  “unsatisfactory” because Oyaka had not been found.

Contributing , the Assistant Superior-General of the Holy Ghost Congregation, Rev. Fr. Bede Ukuije, urged Nigerians to resist evil and embrace peace.

Ukuije further said that ‘’we must all promote what is good’’, adding that ‘’what occupies our minds shape our thoughts.’’

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