Michael Nnadi, a native of Nigeria’s Sokoto diocese, was murdered late January 2020 after having been kidnapped by gunmen camouflaged in military uniform on the night of January 8 alongside three other Seminarians from the Good Shepherd Major Seminary located in Kaduna State.
All the four were first year philosophy students. The other three, who were later released were Pius Kanwai, 19; Peter Umenukor, 23; and Stephen Amos, 23.
According to DCP Mba, the three suspects in police custody “are part of a 19-man gang that also carried out the kidnap of Dr Phillip Ataga’s wife and two daughters on January 24, 2020 at Juji Community in Chikun LGA of Kaduna State.”
“Mrs Ataga was killed by the gang following her heroic resistance to the despicable and inhuman attempt by the leader of the gang to rape her,” Mr. Mba revealed in his statement and added in reference to the late doctor’s wife, “after killing her (the abductors) released the daughters and corpse of the slain woman to the family after collecting ransom.”
The same 19-man gang was “responsible for the kidnap of six students and two teachers of Engravers College, Chikun LGA, Kaduna, from their school premises on October 3, 2019,” Mr. Mba stated in his April 26 statement to the press.
“The suspects, known to belong to a hybrid terrorist criminal network causing untold havoc in North-Central, Nigeria, have confessed to several other random operations along Abuja-Kaduna Expressway where they kidnapped, killed and robbed motorists, collecting ransom and valuables running into millions of naira,” Mr. Mba who is the Public Relations Officer of the Police Force in Nigeria disclosed in his Press Release.
The Police Force “will remain unrelenting in ensuring that crimes across the country are reduced to the barest minimum,” Mr. Mba stated and based on the reassurance the country’s Inspector General of Police M.A. Adamu, added, “the Force will not rest until the other members of the gang also responsible for the above crimes, but currently on the run, are apprehended and brought to book.”
Michael Nnadi was one of the victims of increased kidnappings targeting Christians in the West African country, a situation that prompted the Bishop of Sokoto to express serious concern about the insecurity of church members, calling on the government to prioritize the security of its citizens.
During his burial, Bishop Kukah expressed the hope that Michael’s death would become a turning point for Christian persecution in Africa’s most populous nation.
The Nigerian Bishop described the killing of Michael Nnadi, an orphan brought up by the grandmother, as a “moment of decision” and explained, “This is the moment that separates darkness from light, good from evil. Our nation is like a ship stranded on the high seas, rudderless and with broken navigational aids. Today, our years of hypocrisy, duplicity, fabricated integrity, false piety, empty morality, fraud and Pharisaism have caught up with us. Nigeria is on the crossroads and its future hangs precariously in a balance. This is a wakeup call for us.”