Fr. Edwin Omoregbe, who had been kidnapped last week in Nigeria's Edo state, was released on Sunday.
“With great joy in our heart, we want to inform you all that our priest, Rev. Fr. Edwin Omorogbe has been released from the hands of kidnappers,” read an April 22 statement from the Archdiocese of Benin City, according to the Guardian of Lagos.
“We thank you all for your prayers and pray that God continue to grant all our heart desires,” the statement continued.
Fr. Omorogbe, a parish priest at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Benin City, was abducted April 18 by unidentified gunmen near Egba, on the way from Uromi to Benin City. He was released in the afternoon of April 22. The local Catholic community had been praying for his release.
Babatunde Kokumo, the Edo State commissioner of police, and others led a search and rescue campaign for Omorogbe in the bushes of the Uhumwonde Local Government Area after his kidnapping.
The motive behind the kidnapping and the parties responsible are unknown.
Fr. Omoregbe was ordained a priest in 2003, and has studied in Canada.
Several priests and religious have been abducted in southern Nigeria in recent months.
Six women religious were held for two months before they were released by a police operation in January. They had been taken from Iguoriakhi near Uromi, also in Edo state.
An Italian missionary priest, Fr. Maurizio Pall√π, was kidnapped in Edo state for a week in October 2017.
In Imo state, Fr. Cyriacus Onunkwo was kidnapped and killed in September of the same year.