Police didn’t rescue me from kidnappers, says Bishop Kattey
Four days after he regained freedom from captivity, Archbishop Ignatius Kattey, Dean of the Anglican Communion in Nigeria, said the claim by the Rivers State Police Command that it rescued him from the abductors was “a blatant lie.”
He said the kidnappers voluntarily released him on their own accord which he attributed to divine intervention because, according to him, he knew people all over the world were praying for his unconditional release.
The 65-year-old cleric also said he was not aware of any ransom paid on his behalf.
Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Angela Agabe, shortly after the release of the Archbishop on Saturday evening had claimed that it was the police that rescued him.
But while fielding questions from journalists at a press conference at his residence in Eleme on Wednesday, Kattey said: “Police did not rescue me, they did not rescue my wife. I saw the police the first time two days ago, the police public relations officer lied.”
Kattey, however, acknowledged that there were efforts by security agencies to secure his release, as he could count over 500 times when helicopters hovered over the area where he was being held in the forest.
He explained that it would have been very difficult for the search team to locate him as he was kept in a very thick forest and laid down most of the time while in the custody of the abductors.
On the issue of ransom, the Archbishop said he could not have paid any ransom to them as he did not have access to the bank, adding that “if any ransom was paid, I don’t know. I believe that God touched their hearts.”
Kattey told the audience made up of Anglican clerics, his kinsmen and journalists that Thursday before his release, one of the abductors who kept watch over him asked their leader to release him because he had stayed too long which did not go down well with the leader, a situation that almost sparked off a crisis among them.
At that point, he said he became afraid for his life as the quarrel among them grew hotter with the leader asking the one demanding for his (Bishop’s) release what he (Bishop) gave to him to make him call for his release.
Meanwhile, the cleric has blamed the rising wave of crime on the poor upbringing of children by modern parents, stressing that the kidnappers knew fully he was a man of God but because they did not have good upbringing thay did not care about respect for his exalted position.
He also said the abductors were young and able bodied men, with some of them well-educated but without jobs and therefore urged governments at all levels to provide jobs for Nigerian youths.