Issued by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media - Jordan. Editor-in-chief Fr. Rif'at Bader - موقع أبونا

Published on Friday, 13 May 2022
Nigeria: Kidnapped priest dies in captivity as another is abducted
The Catholic Archdiocese of Kaduna announces the death Fr. Joseph Aketeh Bako who was abducted by gunmen in March. and :

“It is with a heavy heart, but with total submission to the will of God that we announce the death of Rev. Fr. Joseph Aketeh Bako, which sad event took place in the hands of his abductors (18 – 20 April 2022).”


These words, in a statement released on Wednesday by Fr. Christian Okewu Emmanuel, the Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Kaduna, announced the death of the 48-year-old Nigerian priest.


Fr. Bako had been kidnapped on 8 March by gunmen from his residence in St. John Catholic Church, Kudenda, where he had been serving as parish priest.


Vatican News had reported the news of the priest’s abduction in March and noted that according to reports, the security guard of the Church was killed during the attack by the gunmen.


In the statement, the chancellor explained that the communication of Fr. Bako’s death was only coming at this time as the fact of the circumstances leading to his death and the date of the incident have been carefully verified.


The Bishop of the Archdiocese of Kaduna, Most Rev. Matthew Man-Oso Ndagoso has extended his deepest sympathies to the family and the Catholic community of St. John Kudenda, the statement noted.


Christians are also invited to pray for the peaceful repose of the soul of Fr. Bako and for the consolation of the Christians in the Archdiocese of Kaduna.


On Sunday, May 8, Father Alphonsus Uboh was taken from his residence at St Pius X Parish, Ikot Abasi Akpan in Mkpat Enin local government area.


The Diocese of Uyo released a statement saying: "The unfortunate event happened on Sunday, May 8, 2022 around 7.30pm, shortly after he returned to his residence from visiting a sick member of the parish. We call on all men and women of goodwill to pray for his release from the hands of his abductors."


Father Emmanuel Anyanwu spoke to Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) about the resilience of the Christian community in the face of frequent kidnappings of priests, as well as the extremist violence expressed by groups such as Boko Haram.


He said: "Christians in Nigeria have continued to blossom in vocation and the faith. The celebrations marking the Feast of the Resurrection were clear evidence of this. Christians in Nigeria are asking everyone to pray for them as persecution increases daily.


The faith continues to grow in the midst of these challenges. However, there is also some fears among the priests in trouble areas. But their courage in the midst of these challenges has been extremely exceptional.