Nigeria’s Diocese of Kafanchan appeals for ‘intense prayers’ for abducted priest

Kidnapped Nigeria priest Father Jeremiah Yakubu The Diocese of Kafanchan in Nigeria said Father Jeremiah Yakubu was taken from his parish's rectory on Sunday, June 11. | Credit: Diocese of Kafanchan

The Diocese of Kafanchan in Nigeria is calling for “intense prayers” for the safe and quick release of Father Jeremiah Yakubu, who was kidnapped on Sunday, June 11.

In a statement shared with ACI Africa, CNA’s African news partner, on Monday, the chancellor of the diocese announced “with great pain” the news of Yakubu’s abduction.

Father Emmanuel Uchechukwu Okolo said Yakubu, a priest from Holy Trinity Parish in Karku, was taken from the rectory at about 11 p.m. on Sunday.

“While we solicit for an intense prayer for his quick and safe release, we equally call on all to refrain from taking the law into their [own] hands,” Okolo said.

He added that diocesan leadership “will use every legitimate means to ensure his quick and safe release.”

“May Jesus, crucified on the cross, listen to our prayers and hasten the unconditional release of his priest and all other kidnapped persons,” Okolo said.

Yakubu’s abduction is the latest in a series of kidnappings and murders in Nigeria involving members of the clergy, seminarians, and other Christians. 

On June 7, Father Charles Onomhoale Igechi of Benin City Archdiocese, who was set to mark his first anniversary as a priest in August, was shot dead while returning from pastoral duties.

On June 2, Father Stanislaus Mbamara, a priest ministering in Nigeria’s Nnewi Diocese, was kidnapped and later set free.

Officials of the Christian Association of Nigeria have urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who was sworn in on May 29, to prioritize the security concerns and economic struggles of the people of God in the West African nation. 

“Nigeria is facing a number of challenges that require strong and decisive leadership. From security concerns to economic struggles, it is clear that there is much work to be done in order to ensure that Nigeria can reach its full potential,” Rev. Daniel Okoh said May 29.

Earlier, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of the Sokoto Diocese called upon the new president of Nigeria to identify what is behind the “scars, wounds, and injuries” of Nigerians even as he prioritizes their healing.

This story was first published by ACI Africa, CNA’s news partner in Africa. It has been adapted by CNA.

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