Gunmen targeting Catholic priest kidnap Catechist in Kaduna
Bandits have abducted Kefas Ishaya, the Catechist of St. Monica Catholic Church, Ikulu-Pari, in Chawai Chiefdom, Kauru Local Government Area of Kaduna State. It was gathered that gunmen invaded the residence of the parish priest, Rev Fr Joseph Shekari, around 9:30 pm on Thursday, January 19, 2023.
They kidnapped the Catechist when they could not find Rev. Fr. Shekari, who had travelled out of the village. It will be recalled bandits abducted Fr. Shekari and killed his cook, Sati Musa on Sunday, February 6, 2022, he was however released after ransom payment.
The parish had held its annual Thanksgiving Service on Sunday and its members suspect the abductors were targeting the proceeds, having succeeded in carting away what was generated in February 2022. The Chairman of Ikulu Zone of the parish, Mr Sunday Bage, who confirmed the incident, told NAN that the abductors came around 9.30 p.m.
“Thank God, Father (Reverend) travelled. They didn’t get him, but they picked our Catechist. They dragged the Catechist to the bush. They took him with his phone. We have been calling the line, but it keeps ringing out,” he said.
He said that the gunmen were many and kept shooting sporadically, moving through the Church, the school and the priest’s residence in search of the Rev Father. Neighbours told NAN that the gunmen broke into the residence of the priest after scaling through the fence. They were said to have broken the main door to the house using stones and bullets.
“Immediately they broke into the house, they searched and ransacked everywhere. They checked under the beds, wardrobes, bathrooms and kitchen,” one of the neighbours said.
“They even checked the ceiling, but Father had travelled. So, they did not get him. In anger, they took our Catechist. As we speak, he is with them in the bush. It is a very sad situation. This is devastating. They dragged the Catechist on the ground like a dog,”
She recalled that it was not long ago that Fr Shekari was abducted and rescued after “a huge ransom” was paid.
“They came again to take him. Luckily, he wasn’t in. This is really a dark period for us,” she said.