The Anglican Communion has given thanks to God for the safe releaseof the Church of Nigeria’s second most senior cleric, ArchbishopIgnatius Kattey.
Provincial Dean Kattey and his wife were kidnapped more than a weekago by armed men near their residence in the southern city of PortHarcourt. Mrs Kattey was later abandoned by the kidnappers. Kattey isthe archbishop of Niger Delta Province and the bishop of Niger DeltaNorth.
Statements of concern and prayers were issued around the AnglicanCommunion, not least from the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby whohas visited Nigeria many times.
According to police spokesperson Angela Agabe, Kattey was released byhis captors at around 6.30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14, behind a fillingstation at Eleme in Rivers State.
One news report stated that the Ven. Israel Omosioni, archdeacon ofEleme Archdeaconary, told Nigerian journalists that the archbishop waslooking “hale and hearty” despite his ordeal.
Omosoni also revealed that his kidnappers had even given him N200 to to pay for his transport home.
From the moment the news broke on Saturday, members of the AnglicanCommunion expressed thanks and relief for the archbishop’s safe return.
A statement on the archbishop of Canterbury’s website said he “gave thanks” following the release of the Nigerian archbishop.
Bishop of Cameroon Dibo Elango wrote, “His Grace… is back home. Wethank God Almighty. All Glory to the Lord, in the name of our LordJesus. Amen.”
Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese in Europe, the Rt. Rev. David Hamid,said, “We give thanks for his freedom and return to his wife, family andchurch community.”
Expression of thanks to God that the cleric had been returned safelyalso appeared on a range of social media sites from Anglicans andEpiscopalians in countries including Canada, the U.S., England andacross the African continent.
Archbishop Kattey told members of the Nigerian press that he had forgiven the boys who kidnapped him, who he said were hungry and in dire need of a livelihood. Vanguard newspaper quoted him as saying “If the government will give the people potable water, light and good roads, they will change.”