AFRICA/NIGERIA - Religious abducted in Plateau State are free

Thursday, 8 February 2024 kidnappings   priests  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - The two Claretians who were kidnapped on the night of February 1 in the central Nigerian state of Plateau have been released. Fr. Ken Kanwa C.M.F, parish priest of St. Vincent De Paul Fier Church, in Pankshin Diocese, Plateau State, and his assistant Fr. Jude Nwachukwu C.M.F were released by their captors today, February 8th. In recent times, the scourge of kidnapping for extortion has become endemic across Nigeria. In addition to priests and religious, many normal citizens are also kidnapped.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued yesterday, February 7, by the Press Secretary of the Nigerian Bishops' Conference, Father Michael Umoh, the Nigerian Bishops expressed deep concern over security in the country.
“Our country is in a very unfortunate situation at the moment,” said Father Umoh. "And it's not about politics, religion or tribalism. It's about the question between good and evil, it's about light and darkness." In this context, Fr Umoh recalls the recent kidnapping of schoolchildren: "We have heard about schoolchildren being kidnapped. And nothing has really been done. We have not seen that the government has used all its might to combat this unpleasant situation." The concern of the Nigerian bishops is all the more understandable considering that the scourge of kidnappings has serious economic consequences both for individual families and for the Nigerian economy. For many Nigerian families, the kidnapping of a loved one means entering a spiral of ransom negotiations that often reach sums beyond their financial means. The kidnappers kidnap rich and poor alike and spare no one. Many families of abducted individuals have become indebted and have been forced to sell assets or give up work, affecting their lives. There are also other hidden costs, such as medical care for the released hostages, which increase the burden even further. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 8/2/2024)