Christian Entity Concerned about Severity of Kidnapping in Nigeria’s Kaduna State

Credit: CSW

The recent kidnapping and release of a Catholic Priest and the abduction of an intermediary who was delivering ransom payment in Nigeria’s Kaduna State indicate the severity of kidnappings in Nigeria, officials of the UK-based human rights foundation, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), have said.

In a Tuesday, February 8 report, CSW Founder President, Mervyn Thomas, says the abduction and release of Fr. Joseph Danjuma Shekari, and also the abduction of an individual sent to deliver the ransom for a student at Bethel Baptist High School, explain the severity of the crisis.

“Fr. Shekari’s abduction, and that of the individual sent to deliver the ransom for the final Bethel Baptist High School student, highlight the continuing severity of the kidnapping crisis in Kaduna state,” Mr. Mervyn says.

The CSW President calls upon the government of the West African country to work hard towards the release of the student kidnapped at Bethel Baptist High school and the intermediary who was trying to secure the release of the student.

“We call on the Nigerian authorities to do all in their power to secure the release of the vulnerable young student, the intermediary who sought to assist him, and of all those held captive by armed non-state actors who the Nigerian government has correctly deemed to be terrorists,” he says.


The leadership of the UK-Based peace entity further call upon the international community to push Muhammadu Buhari’s government to account for its failure to protect citizens. The government, the leadership of the human rights foundation notes, should also be held accountable for failure to bring those terrorizing citizens to book.

The officials of the foundation find it disturbing that the Bethel Student kidnapped with others in July last year was the youngest in the group.

CSW leadership explains the health situation of the student who is still in the hands of the kidnappers saying, “Following the release of two of his colleagues on 1 January 2022, CSW had been informed he might have developed Stockholm Syndrome, as he had expressed a willingness to remain with his captors.”

CSW officials further report that the kidnappers of the student had requested ransom to secure his release at the end of January 2022 but ended up kidnapping the person who offered to deliver the ransom.

The Secretary of the Kaduna chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev John Joseph Hayab, has called for prayers for the student. He explained that the kidnappers lured the student with gifts.

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“The bandits took advantage of the young man and enticed him with many gifts and things to make him feel comfortable with them,” Rev. Hayab has said.

He has explained, “There is no way the bandits can love him more than his parents or guardians. We need to seriously pray and work hard for the freedom of this fragile and innocent boy before the damage they do to him will be beyond remedy.”

CSW leadership has reported that Kaduna State has become “an epicenter of kidnapping and violence by non-state actors, despite being the most garrisoned state in Nigeria.”

Government reports indicate that 1,192 people were killed and 3,348 abducted across the Nigerian State during 2021 at an average rate of around nine people daily. The fatalities comprised 1,038 men, 104 women, and 50 children.

A government gazette published in January 2022 designated non-state actors operating in Northwest Nigeria who were previously described “armed bandits”, as terrorists, extending this designation to “other similar groups” operating “in any part of Nigeria, especially in the North-West and North-Central Regions.”