26 Catholic priests, reverend sisters and seminarians kidnapped in 8 Months, 4 killed

Posted by News Express | 24 August 2022 | 384 times

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•File photo of Nigerian catholic Bishops


Intersociety indicts Jihadist, blames security agencies and church leaders

Nigeria has between January and this ending August 2022 recorded the “abduction of at least 50 Christian Clergies of different Christian denominations” out of which “no fewer than 26 are Catholic Clergies (Reverend Fathers, Nuns and Seminarians), strictly abducted or killed on the grounds of their religious beliefs or affiliations.”

This is according to the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) in a statement issued earlier today, Wednesday, August 24, 2022, in Onitsha, Eastern Nigeria.

According to a data compiled by the Aid to the Church in Need Int’l (ACN), released on 11th July 2022, “Eighteen Catholic Priests have been abducted in Nigeria between January and first week of July 2022 and five of them abducted in the first week of July 2022 alone”.

However, according to Intersociety in the statement signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi and Chidinma Udegbunam Esquire, “This number of abducted Catholic Priests has since risen to 22. On 15th July 2022, for instance, two more Catholic Priests (Reverend Fathers John Mark Cheitnum and Donatus Cleopas of Christ the King Catholic Church in Kafanchan, Kaduna State) were abducted and shortly thereafter on 19th July, Father Cheitnum was killed. On Friday, 12th August 2022, Reverend Father Chinedu Nwadike (Cssp) and a young Seminarian, Emmanuel Nwafor (Pre Prostulant) were abducted by Jihadist Fulani terrorists at Umunneochi, along same Enugu-Okigwe-Port-Harcourt Expressway. The four Catholic Priests so far killed this year by the Islamic Jihadists are Reverend Fathers Bako, Borogo, Odia and Cheitnum. The abducted four Reverend Sisters who have regained freedom are: Johannes Nwodo, Christabel Echemazu, Liberata Mbamalu and Benita Agu.”

Apportioning blames, Intersociety said that “incompetence, partisanship, unwillingness and inability of the country’s security forces to respond to the threats by the Jihadists particularly those laying siege along Umunneochi-Okigwe-Umulolo-Lokpanta of the Enugu-Port-Harcourt Expressway are no longer a hidden fact. The collusion or conspiracy of the security forces in the perpetration and perpetuation of the sacrilegious and dastardly acts is also no longer hidden.”

Continuing, the rights group said: “While the number of abducted victims in the area since the beginning of January 2022 is unaccountable, over sixty defenseless Igbo Christians and non Muslim others have also been killed since January 2022. The worst is that the same security forces apart from refusing to act have brazenly been protecting the Jihadists and seized nooks and crannies of the Southeast terrorizing innocent and law abiding citizens of the peace loving Region. This is to the extent that several funerals, meetings and festivals have been threatened or disrupted. It is also nearing a stage whereby what critics called “MACBAN security approvals” will be mandatory for important Igbo seasonal events such as New Yam Festivals, August Meetings, etc to be allowed.”

Intersociety extended the blame to the “leadership of the Catholic Church in the country including national and local Catholic Clergy dioceses and bodies”. These, the group alleged, “have also not done enough to morally and spiritually protect their ordained subordinates from threats, dangers and harms directed at them by the country’s Islamic Jihadists. Pieces of evidence abound clearly showing the Church leaders failing to rise in strong condemnation of the conspiratorial activities of the colluding public office holders whose compromises and conspiracies have aided or abetted the sacrilegious abduction and killing of the apostles of Christ. The Catholic Bishops have continued to live in silence and prefer to be according undeserved recognitions and accept stolen or embezzled public funds from such tainted public office holders; thereby exposing the lives and safety of their ordained subordinates and undermining the growth and development of the Catholic and the entire Christian Faith.”

Source: News Express

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