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Fr. Alphonsus Bello Fr. Alphonsus Bello 

Nigeria: Bandits kill one Catholic priest, kidnap another

Father Alphonsus Bello, a parish priest in northern Nigeria was killed, while another priest, Father Joe Keke was kidnapped in an attack by armed bandits.

By Vatican News staff writer

Father Alphonsus Bello, a parish priest in northern Nigeria, was found dead on Friday morning, while another priest, Father Joe Keke was allegedly kidnapped by unknown bandits, a symptom of the rising state of insecurity in the country.

At the time of his death, Fr Bello was the parish priest of St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church, Malunfashi, Katsina State. Fr Keke was a priest in residence.

Confirming the news, the National Director of Social Communications of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), Fr Mike Umoh, in a statement, said that Fr Bello’s lifeless body was found on a farmland behind the Catechetical Training School in Malumfashi.

Attack at night

Father Umoh said Fr Bello’s tragic death comes after an earlier report at about 1:35 am by the Dean of Malumfashi Deanery, Fr Stephen Ojapah, MSP, who pointed out that the parish house of St. Vincent Ferrer had been attacked by a group of about fifteen bandits.

Frs. Alphonsus Bello and Joe Keke were abducted by the group of bandits during the attack. 

The whereabouts of Fr Keke, 75, is still unknown and the kidnappers have not made contact.

21 May 2021, 12:50