Prayer Appeal for “quick, safe release” of Catholic Priest Kidnapped from Onitsha Archdiocese, Nigeria

Fr. Basil Gbuzuo, abducted from Nigeria's Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha on 15 May 2024. Credit: Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha

Prayers are being sought in Nigeria’s Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha for the “quick and safe release” of Fr. Basil Gbuzuo who was abducted on Wednesday, May 15.

In a Thursday, May 16 statement shared with ACI Africa, the Chancellor of the Nigerian Catholic Archdiocese, Fr. Prudentius Aroh, says, “With sadness, we write to inform the general public of the kidnap of one of our priests, Fr. Basil Gbuzuo. The sad incident occurred yesterday morning, Wednesday, 15th May, 2024 along Eke Nkpor-Obosi bypass about 8am.”

“Until now, the abductors have not established any contact with anybody,” Fr. Aroh says, alluding to demands for ransom that has characterized abductions targeting members of the Clergy, women and men Religious, and Seminarians.

He says that the Local Ordinary of Onitsha, Archbishop Valerian Maduka Okeke, is spearheading the prayer intention for the safety and eventual freedom of Fr. Gbuzuo, and that he is inviting “all Christ's faithful and all men and women of goodwill to earnestly pray for the quick and safe release of the Priest as we intensify our efforts to ensure his freedom.”

“We commend our brother, Fr. Basil, to the powerful intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Priests, for his speedy release from the hands of his kidnappers,” Fr. Aroh implores.


Nigeria has been battling with a surge of violence orchestrated by gangs, whose members carry out indiscriminate attacks, kidnapping for ransom, and in some cases, killing.

Boko Haram insurgency has been a major challenge in the country since 2009, a group that allegedly aims to turn Africa's most populous nation into an Islamic nation.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.