By Godwin Utuedoye,
WARRI- CATHOLICS in Warri metropolis and environs has intensify prayers, as masses is being celebrated for the immediate release of one of her priest, Rev. Fr. Christopher Ogaga, who was abducted on Saturday last week along Oviri-Aragba-Orere Okpe Road in Okpe Local Government Area by unknown gunmen when the priest was travelling to Warri were he was said to have three masses on the following day being Sunday, September 2, 2018.
Our Correspondent who visited different Catholic Parishes in Warri and Ughelli and environs on Wednesday, witnessed hundreds of Catholics praying even as Mass was being celebrated for the unconditional release of the priest.
At Mother of Redeemer Catholic Church Airport Junction, Effurun, the midday Mass was overwhelmed by prayers of members asking God intervention on the release of the innocent man of God. While at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church Ughelli, Rev. Fr. Godwin Orudje led a cross section of faithful into a prayer session at the Church premises asking for God intervention.
The man of God who is revered for his spirituality and fervent prayers was visibly angered in the spirit, saying enough of the attack on Catholic priests. He urged the abductors to immediately release the priest without financial condition as the Church will not negotiate such.
A Catholic who does not want his name in print, disclosed that the entire Catholic diocese in Warri is tense, as the abduction of the priest have distabilised faithful both mentally, physically and psychologically as they imagined the kind of trauma the priest may be going through in the hands of the kidnappers.
Others who spoke to our Correspondent, noted that, the Catholic Church has always be a target, but stressed that no matter the attack or evil against her, the Church shall always prevail over evil as God Himself is in charge.
As at today Wednesday, September 5, Rev. Fr. Christopher Ogaga has spent three days in the den of his abductors.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Church in Warri has said, that the Church will not negotiate with abductors, stating that it has never been the policy of the Church neither so the Church have resources for such, but appeals to the priest abductors to release him as he is innocent, poor and has no family of his to raise money for ransom.
Rev. Fr. Dr. Benedict Ukutegbe, Director of Social Communications, Catholic Diocese of Warri, in a chat with this Correspondent in his office in Warri, stated that the bishop, Most Rev. John Oke’Oghene Afareha is appealing to the abductors to free the priest and also urged the state government and security agencies to doubled efforts so as to secure the release of the priest.
Rev. Fr. Dr. Ukutegbe on his part, passionately appealed to the abductors to understand that the person in their custody is a Catholic priest who had no property of his own and begged them to free him immediately.
Bishop Afareha has also on Sunday, September 2, Charged all Catholics and the public to offer prayers to God for the release of the priest whom has been described as a committed and faithful priest. He urged faithful to book masses and pray the rosary for the safe release of the priest.
Rev. Fr. Christopher Ogaga is the Principal of St. Peter Claver College Aghalokpe and pariah priest of St. Luke Catholic Church and St. Jude pariah, Aghalokpe.