AFRICA/NIGERIA - Two priests kidnapped in the diocese led by Msgr. Kukah, subject to heavy threats

Wednesday, 25 May 2022 kidnappings   priests  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - Two priests have been kidnapped in northern Nigeria. This is reported by Fr. Christopher Omotosho, Director of Social Communications of the Diocese of Sokoto in a statement: "At midnight today, May 25, 2022, armed men broke into the rectory of the Catholic Church of Saint Patrick, in Gidan Maikambo, Kafur LGA, in Katsina State". "The parish priest, Fr. Stephen Ojapa, MSP (Missionary Society of St. Paul) and his collaborator Fr. Oliver Okpara and 2 other boys in the house were kidnapped. We have no information on their whereabouts. I ask you to pray for their safety and release". According to the testimonies collected, the kidnappers, armed, arrived in large numbers, and were not seen riding motorcycles, as is usually the case in attacks for kidnapping of people in Nigeria.
Fr. Oliver Okpara was ordained in September by His Exc. Mgr. Mathew Hassan Kukah, Bishop of Sokoto, who was the subject of recent threats (see Fides, 24/5/2022).
The Bishop had strongly denounced the murder of Deborah Samuel Yakubu, a Christian student, lynched on May 12 for "alleged blasphemy" (see Fides, 18/5/2022).
The diocese of Sokoto headed by Msgr. Kukah fully covers the states of Sokoto and Katsina, and partially those of Zamfara and Kebbi. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 25/5/2022)