It is no longer news that a Catholic priest in person of Rev. Fr. Mathew Oguleri was recently kidnapped. The good news, however, is that the Bishop of Ijebu-Ode diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Albert Ayinde Fashina, the priests and indeed the entire lay faithful of the diocese are now in jubilant mood.
This followes the recent release of Rev Fr Oguleru who was abducted by kidnappers penultimate week while going for morning Mass, along Ilado, Ibefun Ikorodu Road.
The news of Fr. Oguleru’s adoption had thrown the entire Catholic community not only in Ije-Ode but also in Lagos Archdiocese off-balance. This is because he was a well know face, being a lecturer in one of educational institutions in the Archdiocese and having worked in few parishes also
Few days after his abduction, the social media was agog with the rumour that the kidnappers had contacted his family members and demanded as ransom the sum of N80 million naira before he could be released.
However, true to the position of the CBCN never to pay ransom, Bishop Albert Fasina promptly issued a statement allaying the fear of his flock and calling for prayers for his release.
Hear him, “Our Diocese has been going through untold pains with the abduction of our brother, Rev. Fr. Mathew Oguleru of Our Lady of Assumption Parish, Ilado by some unknown men. Fr Oguleru was abducted on his way to morning Mass at Ososa on the 21st of June, 2017. This unfortunate and sad event which is a test of our faith in God, is capable of inducing fear in us and enslaving us. As children of God, we must not be cowed by the devil and his agents. Rather, let us remain strong and continue to hope in God, who is the source of life so that we would have our brother return to us safe and sound.”
Bishop Fasina further requested that there should be Benediction in all parishes in the diocese on Sunday 25th June, 2017 by 5pm, coupled with fasting and praying of the rosary.
The prayer worked as the kidnapped priest was eventually released less than 48 hours after the bishop’s statement. It was not clear if any ransom was paid.
Meanwhile, all effort to reach the priest proved abortive as he was taken to an unknown destination to get adequate rest and recover from the trauma that accompanied his ordeal.
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