By Stanley Okehie
Traditional rulers from Ikeduru Council Area of Imo State have rained curses on the abductors of the auxiliary Bishop of Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri, Most Rev. Moses Chikwe.
The monarchs from the 29 autonomous communities in the LGA assembled at Ama Nwaozuzu junction in Ikeduru, poured libations and called on their ancestors to intervene and save the life of their son.
Recall that Bishop Chikwe was kidnapped on the evening of Sunday December 27, 2020 while returning from a visit to his residence and no contact has been made since his abduction.
There had been rumour of his death by his abductors although, immediately dismissed as unconfirmed and misleading by the Bishop of Owerri Archdiocese, AJV Obinna.
The traditional rulers while thrusting their staffs upward towards heaven in communion with gods of the land, invoked confusion on Bishop Chikwe’s abductors and their conspirators, should they fail to release him unconditionally.
HRH Eze Marcel Okwadikesinachi Egemonu, Ebi 1 of Ebikoro and Chairman of Ikeduru Council of Traditional Rulers who spoke on behalf of the monarchs said, “We are here at this junction. We look upon God as we condemn the kidnap of our dearly beloved son, Bishop Moses Chikwe. His abductors have kept him in captivity and torturing him too. It will never be well with you people. Our Bishop is harmless. We pray for confusion in your midst. You will incur our wrath if you don’t release him. Ndi Eze Ikeduru have spoken with one voice. You people will never see good in life. You will suffer in your entire life. You will suffer in Eke, Orie, Afor and Nkwo.”
“Whoever that is holding our son, all the conspirators should hear it today, we have spoken our minds, we have placed a curse on them, if they don’t release him, they will become victims of this curse. We have gathered at this junction (crossroad), so whoever that kidnapped our Bishop is a road user, so at any junction he turns left or right, he will never have peace.”
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the invocation, Eze Egemonu described Bishop Chikwe’s kidnap as abomination while calling on the Police, other security agents, Imo State government and Nigeria at large to work hard and ensure that the bishop regains his freedom.
Eze Herbert Ngozi Akalonu of Uzoagba where Bishop Chikwe hails from, wondered why the Bishop became a target of kidnap as he is not a business man or owner of any company, but a servant of God. The Ikeduru monarchs also wondered why Bishop Chikwe was kidnapped few months after his election and consecration but yet to be enthroned. The Prelate is the first Ikeduru son to become a Bishop in the Roman Catholic Church.
Earlier, members of Catholic Women Organization had marched to Government House roundabout, seeking unconditional release of Bishop Moses Chikwe.
They carried placards with inscriptions: “where is our security”, “release our bishop”, “do my prophet no harm”, “God hear our cry”, avoid the wrath of God”, “set our bishop free”, “Jesus weeps”, “Man’s inhumanity to man”.