People protest killings and kidnappings in souther Kaduna State People protest killings and kidnappings in souther Kaduna State  

Nigeria: 2 more priests kidnapped in Kaduna State

Two Catholic priests, travelling between parishes, were abducted by bandits on Friday afternoon and are being held captive The Chancellor of Kafanchan Diocese, in the ecclesiastical province of Kaduna, is appealing for prayers for their quick and safe release.

By Linda Bordoni

Father John Mark Cheitnum and Father Donatus Cleopas are the latest in a string of Catholic priests to be kidnapped in Nigeria.

In a statement released by the Chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan in Kaduna State, Rev. Father Emmanuel Uchechukwu Okolo, announced with sorrow the kidnapping of the two priests.

He reported that the abduction occurred “around 5.45 pm of July 15, 2022, shortly after the two priests who were on their way to a function at a different parish (Gure), arrived at the parish rectory of Christ the King Catholic Church, Yadin Garu, in Lere Local Government Area of Kaduna State.”

“As we solicit for intense prayer for their quick and safe release, we equally wish to call on all and sundry to refrain from taking the laws into their hands.”

Father Okolo concluded reassuring the faithful that all legitimate means will be used to ensure their quick and safe release.

“May Jesus, crucified on the Cross, listen to our prayers and hasten the unconditional release of His Priests and all other kidnapped persons.”

Increasing insecurity

At least 20 priests have been kidnapped in Nigeria since the beginning of 2022, five in the first week of July alone.

Although most were released unharmed, three were killed. Despite the federal government’s claims to the contrary, insecurity in Nigeria is on the rise, with kidnappings for ransom taking place daily across the country.

A recent intelligence report released by the Nigeria Security Tracker claimed that at least 2,968 people were killed while 1,484 were abducted from January to March 2022. The North-Central region accounted for the cumulative highest number of casualties.

16 July 2022, 13:40