Two parish priests and three others kidnapped in the rectory of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Gidan Maikambo, in Katsina State’s Kafur Local Government Area (LGA), Northwest Nigeria, on May 25, 2022, have been released.
Rev. Fr Christopher Omotosho, Director of Social Communications for the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, confirmed the development in a statement issued on Sunday, June 26.
The statement listed those released to include Fr. Stephen Ojapa, Fr. Oliver Okpara, Mr Hassan Hassan, and Ms Ummie Hassan.
“With hearts full of joy, we announce that our brethren Fr. Stephen Ojapa, Fr. Oliver Okpara, Mr Hassan Hassan & Ms Ummie Hassan who were abducted by gunmen at midnight on 25th May 2022 in the rectory of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Gidan Maikambo, Kafur LGA of Katsina State, have all gained freedom,” the statement read.
“We thank you for your prayers, support, encouragement and show of love. May the name of the Lord be praised, now and forever. Amen! Thank you!” it added.
On Sunday, June 26, 2022, Christopher Odia, the administrator of St. Michael Catholic Church in Ikabigbo, Etsako West LGA, and the Principal of St. Philip Catholic Secondary School in Jattu, Edo State, were kidnapped and later killed by terrorists.
According to a source, the terrorists shot and injured one of the community members searching for the Reverend Father. The terrorists also killed two other local security members during the mission.
“The kidnappers came with sophisticated weapons and took away the reverend father while he was preparing for the morning mass. It was sad. One of the boys who tried to look for the cleric was shot, and he is currently in a hospital,” the source said.
On Saturday, June 25, 2022, another Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Vitus Borogo, was killed by suspected terrorists along the Kaduna-Kachia Road.
According to Father Christian Emmanuel, Chancellor of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kaduna, the 50-year-old priest killed was a chaplain of the Catholic Community in Kaduna.
“It is with a heavy heart, but with total submission to the will of God that we announce the death of Rev. Fr. Vitus Borogo, which sad event took place today (Saturday), at Prison Farm, Kujama, along Kaduna-Kachia road, after a raid on the farm by terrorists,” he said.
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