Nigeria: Catholic Priest Kidnapped in Kaduna

A Catholic priest has been kidnapped in Kaduna State, North-west Nigeria.

John Shekwolo, a reverend father, was kidnapped by armed men in Ankuwa, Kachia Local Government Area of the state, the police said.

The police spokesperson, Yakubu Sabo, said the cleric was kidnapped at about 8 a.m. on Monday when the gunmen went to his residence and whisked him away to an unknown destination.

He explained that a team of police officers were mobilised to the village.

"This with a view to combing the general area for possible rescue of the victim and arresting the criminals. The commissioner of police, Ahmad Abdurrahman, appeals to the general public to assist the police with relevant information that could help in curbing the menace of banditry in the state," he said.

Earlier, the Archdiocese of Kaduna, Daniel Kyom, in a statement made available to journalists in the state explained that the kidnapped priest was in charge of Saint Theresa Catholic Church, Ankwa, near Kachia.

"We regret to announce that one of our priests, Rev. Fr. John Bako Shekwolo has been kidnapped by unknown persons.

"As we ask for the prayers of the faithful of our Archdiocese and beyond the quick release of Fr. Shekwolo, we appeal to the consciences of those who abducted him to kindly release him unharmed," he said.

Kidnapping for ransom is high in Kaduna, Katsina and many other states in Nigeria. The victims include clerics across religious divide, business persons, and other residents of the affected states.

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