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Abducted Catholic priest, Unizik Prof regain freedom

A Catholic priest, Reverend Father Basil Gbuzuo, and Professor Sydney Onyeagu of Nnamdi Azikiwe University (Unizik), Awka in Anambra State, have been releases.

They were last week abducted at Nkpor, close to Onitsha by unknown gunmen.

The Press Secretary to Anambra State Governor, Mr Christian Aburime in a press release on Friday confirmed the release of the duo, adding that the Anambra State Government had commenced work to rid the state of all criminal elements.

He said: “This is to inform the general public that Rev. Fr. Basil Gbuzuo, who was kidnapped on 15th May 2024 along Nkpor-Obosi axis has regained freedom, through the onerous efforts of the joint security task team of Anambra State Government and well meaning citizens.

“The state government will not rest on its oars, as we work to ensure that any person held in captivity is released unconditionally and unhurt.

“The Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo CFR, appreciates the contributions of all well meaning people in the onerous effort to make Anambra a peaceful and liveable homeland.”

Aburime added, “We also seize this opportunity to send a strong warning to all criminals, their collaborators and sponsors. The full weight of the law will be brought on all such persons who engage directly or indirectly in orchestrating criminal activities.

“However, note that the olive branch offer extended to criminal elements who operate in the mould of agitators is still open. They should avail themselves of avenues provided by the state for them to be trained, rehabilitated and integrated back into society.”

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, SP Tochukwu Ikenga, who confirmed the release, said the Commissioner of Police, CP Nnaghe Obono Itam, had ordered a manhunt for the abductors of Fr. Basil Gbuzuo and Prof. Sydney Onyeagu of Unizik.

According to him, the victims were released unhurt on Friday.

“The CP assures that the Command is in high spirits and already leveraging
information in this regard, especially to frustrate criminal intentions of non-state actors and reduce crime to the barest minimum in the state,” he said.