Catholic Diocese of Ekiti in Nigeria Appealing for Prayers for Kidnapped Priest

Fr. Michael Olubunmi Olofinlade, kidnapped in Nigeria's Ekiti Diocese on 14 January 2023. Credit: Ekiti Diocese

The Catholic Diocese of Ekiti in Nigeria is calling on the people of God to pray for the safe release of Fr. Michael Olubunmi Olofinlade who was kidnapped on Saturday, January 14.

In a statement shared with ACI Africa Sunday, January 15, the Chancellor of the Nigerian Diocese announces the “unpleasant news of the abduction” of Fr. Olofinlade as directed by the Local Ordinary, Bishop Felix Femi Ajakaye.

“Fr Olofinlade went for a pastoral assignment outside the parish. His abduction happened while he was on his way back to the Parish at about 6.00 pm,” Fr. Anthony Oluwole Ijasan says in reference to the Parish Priest of St. George Omu-Ekiti Catholic Church in Oye Local Government Area (LGA), Ekiti State.

Fr. Oluwole adds, “The place where Father was abducted was between Itaji-Ekiti and Ijelu-Ekiti, in the Oye Local Government Area in Ekiti State, about 4km to his parish headquarters.”

The Chancellor of Ekiti Diocese further says that Fr. Olofinlade’s abductors “are yet to make contact with the Bishop or any other person in the Diocese.”


“While waiting for the abductors to make contact(s) with the Diocese, the Bishop solicits your prayers for the quick and safe release of Fr. Olofinlade for him to return to his Pastoral duty post to continue his service to God and humanity through and in the Church,” Fr. Oluwole says.

He implores, “With confidence in God and Christ being our strength, wherever God leads us, we follow with joy, commitment and happiness.”

Nigeria has been struggling with violence from gangs who kidnap for ransom and sometimes kill their abductees.

The West African nation has been experiencing insecurity since 2009 when the Boko Haram insurgency emerged with the aim of turning the country into an Islamic state.

The kidnapping is the latest in a series of abductions and killings in Nigeria which have involved Catholics and other Christians; clergy, seminarians, and lay people.

More in Africa

On Sunday, January 15, the Parish Priest of Sts. Peter and Paul Kaffin Koro Parish of the Catholic Diocese of Minna in Nigeria was killed following an attack on the Nigerian Parish.

“It is on a sad note that we announce the death of Very Rev.  Fr. Issac Achi of the Catholic Diocese of Minna,” the Nigerian Diocese said in a message obtained by ACI Africa.

The Diocese of Minna added that while Fr. Achi’s Assistant, Fr. Collins Omeh, survived the attack, he is hospitalized and “in critical condition”.

However, in his letter addressed to the Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), the Chancellor of Minna Diocese, Fr. Amanchukwu Emeka G. provides further updates about the situation of Fr. Omeh, saying, he “sustained some gunshot wounds but he is responding to treatment”.

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.