Four seminarians were abducted last week from their seminary in Kaduna, in northwestern Nigeria. Source: CNA.
By Fr Don Bosco Onyalla, CNA
Police are searching for the seminarians – Pius Kanwai, 19; Peter Umenukor, 23; Stephen Amos, 23; and Michael Nnadi, 18 – who were taken by gunmen from the Good Shepherd Seminary in Kaduna at about 10:30 pm on January 8.
About 270 seminarians live at Good Shepherd.
“The security situation in Nigeria is appalling”, Thomas Heine-Geldern, executive president of Aid to the Church in Need International, said on Monday. “Criminal gangs are further exploiting the chaotic situation and making matters still worse.”
He compared the situation in Nigeria to that of Iraq prior to the Islamic State’s invasion: “Already at that stage, Christians were being abducted, robbed and murdered because there was no protection by the state. This must not be allowed to happen to the Christians of Nigeria. The Government must act now, before it is too late.”
The gunmen, disguised in military camouflage, broke through the fence surrounding the seminarians’ living quarters and began shooting sporadically. They stole laptops and phones before kidnapping the four young men.
A source in Nigeria told ACI Africa that the kidnappers contacted family members of the seminarians on January 11, “but never pronounced any amount of money as ransom.” Each of the abductees were first year philosophers, sources said.
Kidnappings of Christians in Nigeria have multiplied in recent months, a situation that has prompted Church leaders to express serious concern about the security of their members and to call on the Government to prioritise the security of its citizens.