· Says incident, purely robbery, no link with IPOB
Contrary to media reports and claims by the Nigeria army that their personnel foiled the attempted kidnap of the Catholic Bishop of Orlu, Rt Rev (Dr) Augustine Ukwuoma and some of his aides in the early hours of Sunday, October, 31, 2021, the Catholic diocese of Orlu in a release dated November, 2, 2021 described the claims of the military as false and misleading, pointing out that the incident was purely a case of armed robbery, that had nothing to do with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) nor its military wing, the Eastern Security Network (ESN) as claimed by the Spokesperson of the Nigeria Army.
The Army had claimed that their men in response to a distress call from the diocese rushed to the Bishop’s residence and foiled the attempted kidnap of the bishop as the hoodlums sensing danger vamoosed from the scene, hence the bishop and some of his aides who were targets were rescued unharmed.
The release issued by the diocese and signed by Vicar General, Very Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Okor reads in part; “The Catholic Diocese of Orlu wishes to use this medium to make official statement on the armed robbery incidence at the Bishop’s House Orlu.
“In the early hours of Sunday 31st October 2021, around 2:00a.m, a group of armed robbers broke into the Bishop’s house. They were immediately confronted by a joint team of internal security and local vigilantes. Although nobody was hurt, they made away with some valuables.
“After some interval, the Army arrived at the scene of the armed robbery and took some photographs. Thanks to Divine providence and protection, both the Bishop and his household are safe and unharmed.
The Catholic Diocese of Orlu wishes to acknowledge the outpouring of prayers and concern from the faithful and wider society while calling for intense prayers for peace and security of lives and properties of our people.”The Diocese has forgiven these robbers, while praying for their repentance”
This, development according to some concerned Imolites brings to the fore some of the alleged false, diversionary and misleading claims of some military and para-military agencies on disturbing security challenges in the state and beyond which have continued unabated for quite some time without solution.