“We ask for your closeness to us in praying for the quick and safe release of our abducted brothers,” Fr. Emmanuel Okolo, chancellor of the Diocese of Kafanchan, wrote in an Oct. 12 memo.
“Well-wishers of our Institute and Seminary are hereby encouraged to desist from taking the laws into their hands,” the priest added. “We would use every legitimate means to ensure their prompt and secure release. May Our Lady of the Holy Rosary and St. Wilfred intercede for our abducted brothers and all other kidnapped persons.”
Fr. Okoloadded that the six seminarians who were injured were taken with some formators to a hospital in Kafanchan by “a dispatch of soldiers of the Operation Safe Haven.” The injured were treated and discharged after being confirmed to be stable.”
Dr Thomas Heine-Geldern, Executive President of Aid to the Church in Need International, commented that “The kidnapping of innocent young seminarians – once again – in Nigeria is an abominable act. We appeal to the conscience of their kidnappers and urge them to release these young people. We ask people of goodwill to join us in praying that the three seminarians will soon be released unharmed. At the same time, we call on international communities not to look away from the atrocities that occur every day and the ongoing suffering of Christians due to Boko Haram, Fulani attacks and acts of violence by bandits in the whole country.”
He called on Nigeria’s government to ensure its citizens’ safety, saying the country “runs the risk of becoming a failed state.”
A priest of the Kafanchan diocese was kidnapped last month. Fr. Benson Bulus Luka was abducted from his residence Sept. 13, and released after little more than 24 hours.