AFRICA/NIGERIA - Catholic priest kidnapped in Kaduna State

Monday, 10 June 2024 kidnappings   priests  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - Father Gabriel Ukeh, parish priest of St. Thomas Church, Zango Kataf Local Government Area, in Kaduna State, in northwestern Nigeria, has been kidnapped. The priest was taken prisoner by armed men who entered the rectory in the early hours of Sunday 9 June.
Father Emmanuel Kazah Faweh, Vicar General of the Diocese of Kafanchan, commenting on the news of the new kidnapping of a priest in Nigeria, said: "While we fervently pray for the safe release of Father Ukeh as soon as possible, we condemn the incessant kidnappings for ransom of innocent and defenseless citizens of our parishes". "We call on the government to increase security as we approach the Eid al-Fitr," continued the Vicar General, referring to the Islamic celebrations of the Eid al-Adha. The Vicar General of Kafanchan also appeals to the population not to resort to violence against the bandits: "While we are working with the security forces for the speedy release of Father Ukeh, we would like to urge everyone not to take justice into their own hands. We will use all legitimate means to ensure that Father Ukeh returns to us safe and sound." "May our prayers be heard through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the priest, along with all the other prisoners, be released soon," concluded Father Faweh. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 10/6/2024)