US Catholic Diocese agrees to pay $87.5m to people sexually abused by church

Rescue abducted Sokoto priests within 48 hours, rights group charges security forces

By Dirisu Yakubu

Two priests and two others were reportedly kidnapped by gunmen, yesterday, from one of the Catholic parishes in Katsina State.

Vanguard learned that the armed hoodlums kidnapped two priests and two others in the rectory of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Gidan Maikambo, Kafur Local Government Area of the state.

The attacked parishes are under the Sokoto Catholic Diocese, presided over by Bishop Matthew Hassan-Kukah. Kukah’s Sokoto Diocese covers Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto and Kebbi States.

The Director, Social Communications of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Rev. Fr Christopher Omotosho, who confirmed the development, yesterday, said the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto is under attack and no information has been got as to the whereabouts of the abductees.

Omotosho said: “As at midnight of yesterday, gunmen broke into the rectory of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Gidan Maikambo, Kafur LGA of Katsina State.

“The parish priest and his assistant, Rev. Frs. Stephen Ojapa, Oliver Okpara and two boys in the house were kidnapped. No information as to their whereabouts. Kindly pray for their safety and release.” 

When contacted, spokesman of Katsina State Police Command, Gambo Isah, said, “Let me find out.”

Rescue abducted Sokoto priests within 48 hours, rights group charges security forces

Meanwhile, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has given the nation’s security agencies two days to rescue the two kidnapped Catholic priests.

HURIWA described the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto as a “poor” group “which caters for millions of highly economically deprived citizens of the Northern states captured under Sokoto Diocese including Sokoto, Katsina and Zamfara.”

In a release in Abuja, the coordinator of the group, Emmanuel Onwubiko, lamented the suffering of Christians in the past few years at the hands of religious extremists.

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