Unknown gunmen have killed a priest of the Catholic Church in Katsina State, Rev. Fr. Alphonsus Bello, while another priest, Rev. Fr. Joe Keke, was kidnapped at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church, Malunfashi area of the state on Thursday night.
The fully armed gunmen, according to information, had stormed the Catholic parish and started shooting into the air, leaving some people injured in the process.
The National Social Communications Director, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Padre Mike Umoh, who confirmed the incident in a statement on Friday, said the gunmen suspected to be bandits, dumped the lifeless body of Fr Bello in a farmland behind the Catechetical Training School, Malunfashi, while the whereabouts of Fr. Keke was still unknown.
The statement by Umoh reads:
Read also: Gunmen abduct Catholic priest in Imo
“Last night, one of the parishes of the Sokoto Diocese, St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church, Malunfashi, in Katsina State, was attacked by unknown gunmen.
“Two priests were kidnapped, Frs. Joe Keke and Alphonsus Bello. Fr Keke, the former parish priest, is in his late 70s, while Fr. Bello, the current parish priest, is in his 30s.
“This morning (Friday) the body of Fr Alphonsus Bello was found lifeless in the farmland behind the Catechetical Training School, Malunfashi.
“However, the whereabouts of Fr. Joe Keke is still unknown. No contact has been made thus far.”
The State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Gambo Isa who confirmed the killing and abduction of the priest to Ripples Nigeria, said a police tactical team has been put in place by the Commissioner of Police, CP Sanusi Buba, who had mandated the team to go after the kidnappers with everything at their disposal.
By Isaac Dachen…
Join the conversation
SPECIAL REPORT: Displaced residents of Zamfara battle hunger, as underfunding derails Nigeria’s nutrition goals
On paper, Muhammad Zayyanu is seven years old. The quiet boy who looks shorter for his age could not recollect...
INVESTIGATION: N7.3bn paid for unnamed projects; how Nigerian govt spent N2.2trn in six months
Analysing nearly 3,000 payments made by various Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) over the previous six months (January...
INVESTIGATION… Delay rocks Nigerian govt’s promise of N30,000 covid-19 relief for artisans, others
Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in February, 2020, Chukwudi Okoroigwe’s daily earnings as a bus driver was hardly enough to cater to the...
INVESTIGATION… Ten years after, communities count losses as AfDB, Cross River govt abandon road project
Ten years after the Cross River State government and African Development Bank (AFDB) jointly awarded the Yahe-Wanokom-Wanikade-Benue border road for...
INVESTIGATION….N.3bn down the drain: Why water projects for Enugu communities don’t work
In this concluding part, ARINZE CHIJIOKE talks about some of the projects that are serving the people and how various WASH programmes have failed to tackle...