Joy, Gratitude as Catholic Priest in Nigeria Released after 40 Days of Abduction

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

The Catholic Diocese of Zaria in Nigeria has announced “with joy” the release of Fr. Felix Zakari Fidson who has been in captivity for forty days.

In a statement shared with ACI Africa on Wednesday, May 4, the Chancellor of the Diocese of Zaria says that Fr. Zakari, who was abducted on March 24, had been released on Tuesday, May 3.

“With hearts filled with joy, we announce the return of our brother, Rev. Fr. Felix Zakari Fidson, who was abducted shortly after he left his residence at St. Ann's Zango Tama II on his way to the diocesan headquarters on Thursday, 24th March, 2022,” Fr. Patrick Adikwu Odeh says, adding that the Priest had been “released around 1:00 pm.”

The abduction of Fr. Zakari who serves as the Parish Priest of St. Ann’s, Zango-Taman Parish was immediately followed by a hearty appeal for prayers for his release.

In a March 25 statement that was shared with ACI Africa, Fr. Odeh asked the people of God to also pray for other abductees. 


“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,” Fr. Odeh implored.

He added, “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.”

In his May 4 statement, the Diocesan official expresses gratitude to the people of God who he said had prayed unceasingly for the release of Fr. Zakari.

“We want to thank all who offered prayers for the quick release of our dear brother. We pray God to hasten the release of those who are still in the hands of their abductors,” Fr. Odeh says.

He goes on to appeal for prayers for the embattled West African country saying, “May our Lady, the Mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and our mother continue to intercede for our dear country Nigeria. Amen.”

More in 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.

A 2022 report by the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) indicates that in 2021 alone, 25 Catholic Priests and Pastors in Nigeria were either killed or abducted.

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.