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Bandits attack another Catholic Church in Kaduna, abduct catechist

Bandits have attacked St. Monica Catholic Church, Ikulu-Pari, in Chawai chiefdom, Kauru council area in Kaduna, and abducted Kefas Ishaya, the catechist.

The bandits were said to have kidnapped the catechist on Thursday when they could not get the church’s reverend father, Joseph Shekari.

Shekari was not at home when the assailants struck (he had once been kidnapped in February 2022).

The parish had held its annual thanksgiving service on Sunday, and its members suspect the abductors were targeting the proceeds, having succeeded in carting away what was generated in February 2022.

Sunday Bage, the chairman of the Ikulu zone of the parish, said the kidnappers came around 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, NAN reported.

“Thank God, Father (reverend) travelled. They didn’t get him, but they picked our catechist. They dragged the catechist to the bush,” said Mr Bage. “They took him with his phone. We have been calling the line, but it keeps ringing out.”

He said the gunmen were many and shot sporadically, moving through the church, the school and the priest’s residence in search of the reverend father.

Neighbours reported that the gunmen broke into the priest’s residence after scaling through the fence.

“Immediately they broke into the house, they searched and ransacked everywhere. They checked under the beds, wardrobes, bathrooms and kitchen. They even checked the ceiling, but father had travelled. So, they did not get him,” a woman said.

She added that in anger, “they took our catechist” away.

“As we speak, he is with them in the bush. It is a very sad situation. This is devastating. They dragged the catechist on the ground like a dog,” she said.

Regarding Mr Shekari, she said, “They came again to take him.”

During the February attack, Mr Shekari’s cook, Sati Musa, was shot dead by the kidnappers while trying to protect the priest.

While speaking on the February attack, a church elder, Yohanna Madaki, had noted that the kidnappers targeted the more than N2 million realised from the annual thanksgiving service the same day. The money was taken along with the priest, while the murdered cook was a student at Government Secondary School, Kizakoro.

(NAN)

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