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Catholic Priest among 11 people Kidnapped in Nigeria’s Kaduna Archdiocese

Map of Nigeria showing the various states including Kaduna where 11 people including a Catholic Priest were recently kidnapped. Credit: Public domain

A Catholic Priest serving in Nigeria’s Kaduna Archdiocese is among eleven people who were reportedly kidnapped by bandits on the morning of Monday, May 17 in an incident in which eight people lost their lives.  

According to a Tuesday, May 18 media report, gunmen invaded Kadaje community in Kachia Local Government Area (LGA) of Kaduna State, which is covered by the Catholic Archdiocese of Kaduna, killed eight people, and kidnapped eleven others. 

“The people of Kadaje of Kachia woke up early Monday with gunshots of bandits,” a source told Sahara reporters. 

While the inhabitants of Kadaje “cried and called for help”, the source says that no one, including the military personnel who have been deployed in the region, came to their aid. 

“We called and cried for help but it never came even with the presence of military formations. At the moment, 11 persons are missing while eight have died. A priest … is also missing,” Sahara Reporters have quoted the source as saying, adding that the attackers who murdered eight people “injured and abducted people with impunity” on May 17.

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In an interview with ACI Africa, a source in Nigeria described the media report as “true” and that “nothing is happening in Kaduna State following workers’ strike due to poor handling of issues by the State government including mass sack of thousands of workers.”

Civil servants in Kaduna State downed their tools after the Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC) called for a strike. 

According to the NLC leadership, the strike that entered its third day on May 18 was provoked by the retrenchment of at least 1,700 employees of the Primary Health Care Development Agency and 7,000 workers of local governments within Kaduna State.

All these are happening in the face of exorbitant increment in tuition fees, high cost of living and other uncalled for actions in ministries and agencies in the Nigerian state.

Following the strike, Kaduna's governor accused the national president of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, and other members of the union wanted of economic sabotage and attacks on public infrastructure.

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The May 17 attack happened days after Nigerian military personnel conducted a series of aerial strikes across locations believed to be occupied by bandits in Kaduna State.

In a May 14 statement, Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Homeland Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the aerial attacks saying, “Many bandits were killed and their camps destroyed in the air raid.”

“These air operations, which include air interdiction, armed reconnaissance and patrols are set to be sustained over the coming days over Kaduna metropolis and other areas of interest in the state. Major highways will also be covered, including the Kaduna-Birnin Gwari, Kaduna-Abuja, Kaduna-Zaria, Kaduna-Kachia and Kaduna-Afaka roads,” Mr. Aruwan said in the statement.