AFRICA/NIGERIA - "Brother Eze was killed to scare the other two hostages"

Thursday, 26 October 2023 missionaries killed   religious community  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) – "Brother Godwin Eze was killed to scare the two postulants who were kidnapped with him," say the Benedictines of the Eruku monastery in Kwara state, northern Nigeria to Fides. On the night of October 17, an armed group entered the monastery and kidnapped the novice Godwin Eze along with the two postulants Anthony Eze and Peter Olarewaj (see Fides, 20/10/2023). Brother Eze was killed the following morning (see Fides, 25/10/2023). "The bandits used rifle butts to break open the door of the monastery," the religious reported in an interview with Fides, "They broke into the novitiate dormitories and after threatening those present, kidnapped Brother Eze and the two postulants, who were forced to walk barefoot through the forest. At dawn, when they reached a river bank, Brother Eze was shot and his body thrown into the river, according to the two postulants. The kidnappers said this was to show their determination and how serious they were".
His fellow brothers describe 31-year-old Brother Eze as "a cheerful person who devoted himself entirely to the monastery and prayer." His body is still being searched for. "The two postulants are in the hospital, where they are being treated for the wounds they sustained during the day-long walk through the forest and to recover from the psychological trauma they have suffered," the Benedictines continued. "Our monastery is in a remote area, surrounded by the fields that we cultivate. We have no fence and now we are afraid to cultivate the land, also because the bandits have threatened to return", conclude the Benedictines. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 26/10/2023)