Gunmen abduct Catechist in Kaduna , 6 pupils in Nasarawa

Gunmen, on Thursday, abducted Kefas Ishayah ,the Catechist of St. Monica Catholic Church, Ikulu-Pari, in Chawai Chiefdom of Kauru Local Government, Kaduna State.

The gunmen picked the Catechist when they could not get his boss, Rev Fr Joseph Shekari, who was not in when his residence was attacked.

Fr Shekari, who was abducted in similar circumstances in February 2022, had travelled out of the village and was not available for a second ordeal in captivity.

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.

 Chairman of Ikulu Zone of the Parish, Sunday Bage,said 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 said 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.

“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 Catechist on the ground like a dog,” a visibly fear-stricken woman said.

She recalled that it was not long ago that Fr Shekari was abducted and was 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,” he said.

Rev. Fr. Shekari was kidnapped by gunmen in February 2022.

During the February attack, his cook, Sati Musa, was shot dead by the gunmen while trying to protect his master.

A Church elder, Yohanna Madaki, said that the abductors apparently targeted the more than N2 million realised from the annual thanksgiving service same day.

The money was taken along with the Priest, while the murdered cook was a student of Government Secondary School, Kizakoro.

This year, the Parish held its Annual Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, January 16, and the abductors struck on Thursday, January 19.

In a related development,  the Police in Nasarawa State say some gunmen on motorcycles on Friday abducted six pupils of Local Government Education Authority (LGEA) Primary School Alwaza, Doma Local Government Area.

The Police Command’s spokesperson, DSP Ramhan Nansel, confirmed the development to newsmen in Lafia.

Nansel said that preliminary investigation revealed that the pupils, aged between seven and eight years, were abducted on their way to school about 7 a.m.

 He added that a joint security team of the police, military and vigilante had been mobilised to the area for search and rescue  operation.

“We are on the trail of the abductors and the Commissioner of Police, Maiyaki Muhammed-Baba, has also visited the scene for on-the-spot assessment,” he said.

Nansel said that the police had met with the management of the school and the parents of the victims.

He, therefore, called on the public to avail the police with any information that could lead to the rescue of the victims and arrest of the perpetrators. 

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