Another priest abducted in Nigeria

Fr Basil Gbuzuo is the fourth priest to be kidnapped in 2024 in Nigeria. Last year a total of 28 priests were kidnapped in the African country.

International Catholic Charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) expresses major concern over the kidnapping of a priest in the Diocese of Onitshi, Nigeria.

In the official statement sent to ACN, the diocese states that Fr Basil Gbuzuo was taken by armed criminals on Wednesday, 15 May, at 8am, when he was driving. At the time of the statement the kidnappers had not made any contact with Church authorities.

Fr Gbuzuo is the fourth priest to be kidnapped in Nigeria since the beginning of the year. Claretian Fathers Kenneth Kanwa and Jude Nwachukwu were taken in February, and Tony Mukoro, a priest from the Diocese of Benin City, was taken in March. All were safely released soon after.

However, three priests who were kidnapped in previous years are still missing. Fr John Bako Shekwolo has been missing since 2019 and Fathers Joseph Igweagu and Christopher Ogide were taken in 2022 and have not been heard of since.

Nigeria suffers from a severe lack of security, where kidnapping for ransom has become an industry. In 2023 Nigeria led the list of countries with cases of abducted priests and religious, with 28 cases, including three religious sisters.

ACN calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Fr Basil Gbuzuo, and adds its voice to that of the many Catholic leaders in Nigeria who have demanded that the Government put an end to the plague of insecurity in the African nation. Benefactors are requested to kindly remember Fr Gbuzuo and all other victims of kidnappings in their prayers.

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