Nigeria: Kidnapped priest dies in captivity
By Vatican News staff writer
“It is with a heavy heart, but with total submission to the will of God that we announce the death of Rev. Fr. Joseph Aketeh Bako, which sad event took place in the hands of his abductors between 18 – 20 April 2022.”
These words, in a statement released on Wednesday by Fr. Christian Okewu Emmanuel, the Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Kaduna, announced the death of the 48-year-old Nigerian priest.
Abducted in March
Fr. Bako had been kidnapped on 8 March by gunmen from his residence in St. John Catholic Church, Kudenda, where he had been serving as parish priest.
Vatican News had reported the news of the priest’s abduction in March and noted that according to reports, the security guard of the Church was killed during the attack by the gunmen.
In the statement, the chancellor explained that the communication of Fr. Bako’s death was only coming at this time as “the fact of the circumstances leading to his death and the date of the incident have been carefully verified.”
Prayers invited for the peaceful repose of Fr. Bako
The Bishop of the Archdiocese of Kaduna, Most Rev. Matthew Man-Oso Ndagoso has extended his deepest sympathies to the family and the Catholic community of St. John Kudenda, the statement noted.
Christians are also invited to pray for the peaceful repose of the soul of Fr. Bako and for the consolation of the Christians in the Archdiocese of Kaduna.
Details of Fr. Bako’s funeral arrangements will be announced as soon as they are ready, the statement said.