“Thank you for your prayers, support”: Catholic Priest in Nigeria’s Sokoto Diocese after Securing Freedom from Abductors

Fr. Mikah Suleiman (center), Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah (left) and Fr. Chike (right). Credit: Catholic Diocese of Sokoto

Fr. Mikah Suleiman, the Catholic Priest who had been abducted on June 22 from his Parish Rectory in Nigeria’s Catholic Diocese of Sokoto has thanked the people of God for their spiritual solidarity after securing freedom from his abductors.

In a video message shared on Facebook on Sunday, July 7, Fr. Suleiman says he is in good health.

“I want to thank you for your prayers and your support towards my rescue,” the Parish Priest of St. Raymond Damba Parish of Sokoto Diocese says.

He adds, “By the grace of God I am out of the hands of the bandits; thank you very much. As you can see now, I am looking happy and better.”

Meanwhile, in a statement issued on July 7, the Director of Communications of Sokoto Diocese says that the Nigerian Episcopal See is “overjoyed” with the release of Fr. Suleiman.


“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to God for His protection and to everyone who offered prayers and support during this challenging time,” Fr. Pascal Salifu says.

He adds, “Our thanks also go to the authorities, and all involved in securing Fr Mikah's release.”

The Director of Communications in Sokoto Diocese further says Fr. Suleiman is “receiving the necessary care and support.”

“Please continue to keep him in your prayers as he begins his recovery,” the Nigerian Catholic Priest says.

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.

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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.

The abduction and release of Fr. Suleiman follows a series of other kidnappings that have targeted members of the Clergy in Africa’s most populous nation.

On May 15, the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha announced the abduction of Fr. Basil Gbuzuo, who was also later set free.

Fr. Oliver Buba, a Catholic Priest of the Diocese of Yola, who had been abducted on May 21, later found his freedom.

However, Fr. Gabriel Ukeh, who was reportedly abducted from a Parish Rectory in Nigeria’s Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan on June 9 is yet to be released.


Similarly, Fr. Christian Ike and Mr. Ogbonnia Aneke, who were reportedly abducted on June 16 as they were returning from Mass at an outstation of St. Matthew's Parish of the Catholic Diocese of Ekwulobia (CADEK) are yet to be released.

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.