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Police hunt for abductors of three Kaduna seminarians

By Saxone Akhaine and Abdulganiyu Alabi, Kaduna
13 October 2021   |   3:23 am
The police in Kaduna State have begun a manhunt for the bandits that invaded St. Albert Catholic Seminary, Kafanchan, and abducted three seminarians.


Kidnappers demand N15m ransom
• CAN blames insecurity on govt

The police in Kaduna State have begun a manhunt for the bandits that invaded St. Albert Catholic Seminary, Kafanchan, and abducted three seminarians.

However, sources in the school said the kidnappers demanded N15 million for their release.

Chancellor of Kafanchan Catholic Diocese, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Okolo, stated yesterday: “We announce with unease the kidnap of three major seminarians of the Christ the King Major Seminary. The school, our diocesan major seminary, is domiciled within the St. Albert Institute. It houses mostly the formators and seminarians preparing for the Catholic priesthood.

“The event took place on Monday, October 17, 2021, about 7.26 pm, in the Chapel of the Seminary at Fayit, Fadan Kagoma in Jema’a Local Council of Kaduna State.”

According to Fr. Okolo, as at the time of the attack, there were 132 seminarians, six non-seminarians, one female non-academic staff and one steward on the ground.

He added: “Six seminarians sustained injuries. A dispatch of soldiers of the Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) was on the ground to accompany some formators and the injured seminarians to Salem Hospital in Kafanchan. There, they were treated and discharged.

“From the narrative of the seminary security agents, the law enforcement personnel and the headcount conducted after Mass on October 12, 2021, it was confirmed that three Theology Four seminarians were abducted. These seminarians belong to the Apostles of Divine Charity and the Little Sons of the Eucharist Congregation. We ask for your closeness to us in praying for the quick and safe release of our abducted brothers.”

The cleric urged well-wishers of the institute and seminary not to take the law into their hands, promising that every legitimate means would be used to ensure their prompt and secure release.

Police spokesman in Kaduna, ASP Mohammed Jalige, disclosed that the police had begun an investigation into the incident.

He said that security personnel were trailing the bandits while assuring that everything would be done to secure the victims’ release.

CHAIRMAN of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna chapter, Rev. Joseph Hayab, has blamed insecurity in the state on Governor Nasir el-Rufai’s attitude.

He explained: “Some of the students were still in the cafeteria talking when the gunmen came shooting sporadically and scared the students away. The bandits were able to kidnap five of the students, but along the way – I think when they saw that the vigilante and other people were running after them, they released two of the students and went away with three.

“This latest kidnap simply shows that government’s trial and error about security have not worked. It closed down schools, shut down networks on communication and banned commercial motorcycles, but all these have not worked.”

The cleric appealed to the Kaduna government to humble itself and speak with the people.

“I think it is wrong for you to say you want peace, but when you want to dialogue with people, you say you don’t want this man or these people around.”