Gunmen invade Katsina Catholic Church, kidnap priests, two others


By Emmanuel Obisue

Gunmen in the early hours of Wednesday broke into one of the parishes presided over by the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan-Kukah.

The armed assailants reportedly kidnapped two priests and two other members in the rectory of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Gidan Maikambo, in the Kafur Local Government Area of neighbouring Katsina State.

Bishop Kukah’s Sokoto Diocese covers Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto and Kebbi states.

Confirming the development, Director, Social Communications of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Rev. Fr Christopher Omotosho, said the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto came under attack and no information has been obtained as to the whereabouts of the abductees.

“As at midnight of today, 25th May, 2022, gunmen broke into the rectory of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Gidan Maikambo, Kafur LGA of Katsina State.

“The parish priest and his assistant Rev. Frs. Stephen Ojapa, MSP, and Oliver Okpara and two boys in the house were kidnapped

“No information as to their whereabouts. Kindly pray for their safety and release,” Omotosho informed.

Sokoto State has been under tension since an Islamic mob lynched and burnt Deborah Yakubu, a 200-level Home Economics student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto, who was accused of blasphemy against Prophet Muhammed.

The rioters also burnt some parts of Kukah’s church buildings and set a bus ablaze on one of the premises amid escalating tension.