Roads in Nigeria Impassable amid Increased Kidnappings, Catholic Bishop Says

Bishop Hyacinth Oroko Egbebo of Nigeria's Catholic Diocese of Bomadi. Credit: ACN Portugal

The Bishop of Nigeria’s Catholic Diocese of Bomadi has decried the deteriorating security in various parts of the country, noting that traveling by road has become a risky endeavor for the people.

Bishop Hyacinth Oroko Egbebo told Pontifical charity foundation, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) Portugal, that Boko Haram insurgency, in particular, had impacted the country negatively in various social and economic dimensions, adding that the roads in the country have become impassable.

In the Tuesday, May 10 ACN Portugal report, Bishop Oroko says, “The Boko Haram upsurge has really impacted negatively on the economy and on the people… It is difficult to travel through Nigeria by road.” 

Highlighting widespread destruction in the Central parts of Nigeria, the Catholic Bishop says, “Of course, the other dimension of the herdsmen that are kidnapping and even destroying villages and settlements up in the North and now to the Middle Belt is a very disturbing factor.”

The Nigerian Bishop blames the rising wave of crime in Nigeria on youth employment, saying that young people have found it lucrative to kidnap people for ransom.


Bishop Oroko says, in reference to bandits involved in the kidnapping in Nigeria, “They could be doing this because of the unemployment of the youth. This has therefore become a way of employment for them.”

In the report, the Local Ordinary of Bomadi laments that the response from the international community to the deteriorating security in Nigeria has been slow, despite the widespread cry for help.

He blames the slow response, especially in Niger Delta where militants have frequently targeted the oil producing region, on the fact that the international community could be benefitting from the wealth amid widespread violence.

“The international community has not even come to help us despite all the turbulence in the Niger Delta, maybe because they are benefiting from the oil wealth too,” Bishop Oroko is quoted as saying in the May 10 ACN Portugal report.

Appreciating the work of ACN, which reaches out to the people of God in countries experiencing extremism, the Catholic Bishop says, “I take the opportunity to thank ACN for coming to our aid; for making our lives a little more meaningful by supporting us with projects at least to make people know that despite all this inhumane treatment God still cares.”

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“Thanks to all the donors and the workers here who have facilitated this dream of hope for our people. God bless you,” the Nigerian Catholic Bishop says. 

In the report, ACN says that the increasing poverty in various sectors of the Nigerian population has been accentuated by COVID-19, the brutal violence of terrorist attacks by Boko Haram and nomadic Fulani herdsmen, as well as human rights violations, particularly because of violence against women and children.

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.