Catholic Priest Kidnapped by Bandits in Kaduna

By Funmi Ojo

In a distressing incident, Reverend Father Gabriel Ukeh, the parish priest of Saint Thomas Catholic Church in Zaman Dabo community, Zango Kataf Local Government Area, Kaduna State, has been abducted by bandits.

The kidnapping occurred in the early hours of Sunday.

The Vicar General of the Kafanchan Catholic Diocese, Reverend Father Emmanuel Kazah, has urgently called for prayers for the swift and safe release of Father Ukeh.

He condemned the ongoing trend of kidnappings for ransom, highlighting the vulnerability of innocent citizens facing such crimes.

Father Kazah appealed for calm, urging the community to avoid vigilantism and to cooperate with security agencies to ensure the safe return of Father Ukeh.

He pointed out the importance of lawful actions and collective efforts in addressing the crisis.

“While we solicit fervent prayers for his urgent and safe release, we equally condemn this act of incessant kidnappings for ransom of innocent and defenseless citizens of our communities,” Father Kazah stated.

He called upon the government to enhance its security measures as the celebration of Sallah approaches.

The statement, filled with hope and faith, invoked the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and called upon Jesus for the prompt release of the abducted priest and all others held against their will.

“As we work with security operatives for his quick release, we wish to call on all to stay away from taking the law into their own hands.

“We will use every legitimate means to ensure that Father Ukeh comes back to us safe and sound.

“Through the intercessions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Priests and Religious, may Jesus the crucified hearken to our prayers and hasten the unconditional release of His priest and every other abducted person,” the statement read in part.

The kidnapping of Father Ukeh adds to the growing list of abductions in the region, causing widespread concern and fear among residents.

The community remains hopeful for his safe return, relying on the combined efforts of security agencies and the power of collective prayer.

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