05/31/2022 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – On May 25, two Catholic priests of Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church in Nigeria’s Katsina state were abducted around 1:00 am. Their names are Father Stephen Ojapah and Father Oliver Okpara. Two unidentified members of Saint Patrick’s were also seized at the same time.
Father Chris Osmotosho, the director of communications for the Sokoto Diocese, stated that the whereabouts of the priests and the parish members are currently unknown and asked for prayer.
It is also unknown if the abductors were affiliated with any militant organization, such as Boko Haram or other Islamic extremist groups. They were described as “terrorists” and “bandits” in large numbers who fired many gunshots before capturing their prisoners.
Gambo Isah, a spokesman for the local police, reported that the police had not received any information regarding the abduction nor a ransom demand from the kidnappers.
Over the past couple of years, Katsina state in northern Nigeria has been plagued with violence and abductions. In 2020, Boko Haram kidnapped approximately 700 students from a secondary school in Katsina, and in 2021, armed militants abducted nine Islamic seminary students. On Tuesday, there was another attack in Katsina, in the village of Gakurdi, in which twelve people were killed and farmland was burned.
Please pray for the safe return of the bishops and the Lord’s protection over the parish.
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