Nigeria: Kidnapped priest freed | CII
Father Joe Keke, the 75-year-old priest kidnapped on May 20 in a nighttime attack on St Vincent Ferrer parish in Malunfashi, Katsina state, northern Nigeria, has been released. The day after the raid, the body of his colleague, Father Alphonse Bello, was found not far from the parish.
Sokoto Diocese Director of Communications Chris Omotosho said: “We announce that Father Keke has been released from the hands of his captors. We thank those who prayed for his release. Father Keke was taken to a health center for an examination. t
Kidnappings for extortion occur daily in various parts of Nigeria. In many cases, the victims include priests, men and women religious – despite the fact that despite the fact that the Episcopal Conference prohibits the payment of ransoms.
The bishops have repeatedly called for an end to the violence. During the wake of Fr. Alfonso Bello, Mgr Matthew Hassan Kukah, bishop of Sokoto, addressed a strong rebuke to the authorities, affirming that they were doing nothing to protect the population.
The Archbishop of Lagos, Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins said: “from north to south, all parts of the country are witnesses of one form or another of vandalism”. Bishop Martins warned people against attempting to take justice into their own hands, saying, “I hope that if people stand up for themselves they recognize that they cannot be the aggressor and that they will only defend themselves if necessary ”.
The problem continues to be one of the pact between citizens and the state – said the archbishop. “Give Caesar what is Caesar’s and what is God’s to God. When people enter into a social contract with the state, there are obligations and responsibilities on both sides to strike a balance. People owe the state their civic duties, while the state owes people the services they need to maintain their trust and build a better society. “
Keywords: Nigeria, kidnapping, Father Joe Keke, Father Alphonsus Bello, Bishop Alfred Adewale Martins
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