Armed gangs kidnap people, including priests, for ransom in villages and on highways, mostly in the northwest, and the practice has spread to other parts of the country, adding to insecurity in Africa’s most populous country.
Zita Ikhedoro, general secretary of the Sisters of Jesus, the Savior Generalate, said the four nuns were abducted while traveling from Rivers State to Imo for a thanksgiving mass on Sunday.
“We ask that you pray intensely for their speedy and safe release,” Ikhedoro said in a statement.
Imo police spokesman Michael Abattam said the police were pursuing the kidnappers.
“We are currently on their trail,” Abattam told CNN on Tuesday. “We are doing everything so that they (the nuns) are saved.”
In northwestern Nigeria, the military launched an air offensive to eliminate armed groups responsible for kidnapping citizens from villages and cities in the region.
“In particular, in the northwest, strikes by NAF (Nigerian Air Force) aircraft have killed several terrorists and destroyed their enclaves,” the Nigerian Air Force said in a recent statement.