Prayer Appeal for Safe Release of Catholic Priest Kidnapped in Nigeria’s Zaria Diocese

Fr. Felix Zakari Fidson, abducted in Nigeria's Zaria Diocese on 24 March 2022. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Prayers are being sought for the safe release of an abducted member of the Clergy of Nigeria’s Catholic Diocese of Zaria.

In a Friday, March 25 statement, the Chancellor of the Nigerian Diocese says Fr. Felix Zakari Fidson who serves as the Parish Priest of St. Ann’s, Zango-Taman Parish was abducted on Thursday, March 24.

“We regret to officially announce and confirm the abduction of one of our Priests, Rev. Fr. Felix Zakari Fidson shortly after he left his residence at St Ann's Zango Tama ll on his way to the diocesan headquarters on Thursday, 24 March, 2022,” Fr. Patrick Adikwu Odeh says in the statement.

He adds, “We call on all men and women of Goodwill to pray for the safe release of Fr. Felix Zakari Fidson and others from the hands of their abductors, on this day of the solemnity of the Annunciation.”

“Through the intercession of our Lady, the Mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and our mother, may our brother, Rev. Fr. Felix Zakari Fidson and others return to us safe and sound,” Fr. Odeh implores in the March 25 statement shared with ACI Africa.


Nigeria has been experiencing insecurity since 2009 when Boko Haram insurgency began with the aim of turning the country into an Islamic state.

Since then, the group, one of largest Islamist groups in Africa, has been orchestrating indiscriminate terrorist attacks on various targets, including religious and political groups as well as civilians.

The insecurity situation in the country has further been complicated by the involvement of the predominantly Muslim Fulani herdsmen, also referred to as the Fulani Militia.

The latest abduction of Fr. Zakari follows a series of other kidnappings of members of the Clergy in Africa’s most populous nation.

In April 2021, gunmen kidnapped Fr. Izu Marcel Onyeocha, a member of the Congregation of Missionaries, Sons of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Claretians). He was later freed.

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In May last year, St. Vincent Ferrer Malunfashi Catholic Parish of Nigeria’s Sokoto Diocese was attacked and two Priests kidnapped. One of them, Fr. Alphonsus Bello, the 33-year-old Fidei Donum Priest incardinated in Nigeria’s Kaduna Archdiocese, was killed; the other Priest, Fr. Joe Keke, was later released.

In July last year, a Priest serving in Nigeria’s Maiduguri Diocese, Fr. Elijah Juma Wada, was abducted and later escaped after spending nine days with his abductors.

Another Priest of Nigeria’s Kafanchan Diocese was kidnapped in September 2021 and later released by his abductors.

On January 6, Fr. Joseph Danjuma Shekari was kidnapped from his Parish residence in Nigeria’s Diocese of Kafanchan; he was released a day later.

Earlier this month, Fr. Joseph Akete who is serving in Nigeria's Kaduna Archdiocese was kidnapped by gunmen at his residence and his security guard killed.


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.