AFRICA/NIGERIA - A catechist kidnapped instead of a priest already kidnapped last year

Friday, 20 January 2023 kidnappings   catechists  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - A catechist was kidnapped by bandits who probably intended to kidnap the priest of the Catholic church of Santa Monica, Ikulu-Pari, in Chawai Chiefdom of the local government of Kauru, Kaduna state, in north-central Abuja Nigeria.
According to Fides learns, the criminals attacked the parish residence of Fr. Joseph Shekari around 9:30 p.m. yesterday, January 19. The bandits fired into the air and searched the buildings of the parish complex, the church, the school and the parish priest's residence in search of the priest, who, however, was outside the town. According to witnesses present at the scene, the criminals used stones and shot to open the main door of the house. "They immediately broke into the house and ransacked everywhere. They searched under the beds, the wardrobes, the bathrooms and the kitchen", the witnesses say. Not finding the priest, the bandits seized Kefas Ishaya, the catechist present, and dragged him with them into the forest.
The catechist's acquaintances have tried to call him on his mobile phone, but he has not answered.
Fr. Joseph Shekari had already been kidnapped on February 6, 2022, in a similar way. The bandits had in fact attacked the parish house in the late evening (see Fides, 7/2/2022). The priest was then released on February 7 (see Fides, 8/2/2022). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 20/1/2023)