Nigerian bishop abducted

The Rt. Rev. Peter Imasuen, bishop of the Diocese of Benin (in Edo State) in the Anglican Church of Nigeria, has been kidnapped, different sources there are reporting.

In addition to serving as bishop, Imasuen is also listed as Chairman of the Edo State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, though his name is not mentioned in any such capacity on the CAN web site.

[Bear in mind that this is breaking news, and that information can come overnight from Africa in a scattershot style. Nigeria is six hours ahead of the U.S. Eastern Time Zone.]

From This Day Online:

Imasuen was abducted in front of his official residence, Bishop Court, at Iyaro area in Benin City, at about 12:30p.m. while returning from church service.

According to investigations, he was said to have been trailed by the kidnappers from the St. Matthew Cathedral located along Sakponba Road, where he conducted a church service.

Witnesses disclosed that the suspected kidnappers, who wielded sophisticated weapons, forced their way into the Bishop Court and attacked the securityman on duty.


The abduction of the cleric occurred shortly after the withdrawal of the soldiers attached to the Joint Military Task Force in the state, codenamed “Operation Thunderstorm.”

Operation Thunderstorm is the special security outfit put in place by Governor Adams Oshiomhole, to checkmate the alarming spate of abductions and violent crimes in the state last year.

The bishop was said to have been abducted on his way to his residence at the Iyaro area of the city while returning from the Sunday church service at St. Mathew Cathedral, Sakponba Road, Benin.

Nigerian Compass:

Before [the withdrawal of Operation Thunderstorm], the joint security outfit in the state was said to have kept armed robbers and kidnappers at bay.

There was protest by labour unions and civil society groups in the state capital last week, following the sudden withdrawal of the soldiers by the military on the orders of the Minister of Defence, General Godwin Abbe.

From an older post at the blog Not the same stream, which has a lot on the enormity of the conflict in the Diocese of Benin:

The Diocese of Benin in the Anglican Church of Nigeria seems a troubled place. And I was intrigued to find they have an official Dir. Of Security/Protocol, the Revd Canon Nosa Ben-Shallom. I wonder how many other Dioceses in the Communion have a director of security?

But I guess they need it. In October 2008 police protection was sought apparently because Igbo worshippers wanted exclusive control of a Church in Benin City….

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