The Diocese of Mamfe, Manyu Division, in the South West Region has expressed its shock with the abduction of the Vicar General of the Diocese, Mgr Julius Agbortoko by Ambazonian fighters on August 29, 2021.
The Vicar General who had spent the weekend at Kokobuma for a pastoral visit and the inauguration of the presbytery of the parish, returned to Mamfe after the visit, and was thereafter confronted by a group of men who identified themselves as Ambazonian Fighters.
They took him from within the confines of the Bishop’s residence at about 6pm, reports say. It is believed that the Vicar General was taken as an alternative to Bishop Emeritus Lysinge, whom they considered frail and old.
In a Press Release by the Chancellor of the Diocese of Mamfe, Fr. Sebastian Sinju, he revealed that the abductors have demanded 20 Million FCFA in ransom to be paid for the release of the Vicar General.
The Mamfe Diocese has condemed this latest attack on the church by Separatist fighters and urged for the release of the abducted priest. The abduction of the Vicar General is the second time in less than 1 year that a leading figure of the Catholic Church has been kidnapped by the Separatists.
It was a similar situation with late Cardinal Christian Tumi, who was kidnapped by Separatist fighters while he traveled to Nso. He was kept in captivity for over three days before being released following mounting pressure from the church and the International Community.