How do you react to pastors, bishops, and men of God in general, getting killed, kidnapped, shot at, and hospitalised after sustaining life-threatening injuries from bandits’ attacks and activities?
It is becoming more alarming by the day to see the way men ordained by God to spread the gospel and win souls are brutalised, murdered, picked up for ransoms and their churches bombarded by so-called terrorists standing against the propagation of the word of God.
Pastors Affected by Bandits/Terrorists’ Activities
- Rev. Daniel Umaru
The most recent attack happened in Adamawa State, where some unidentified gunmen took it upon themselves to ruin the life of Reverend Daniel Umaru of EYN Church in the State and that of his family, with the authorities still trying to figure out the motive behind the attack.
In the process, the good Reverend lost two of his sons who were shot dead by the gunmen. They also abducted his 13-year-old daughter and left him with bullet wounds where he’s struggling for his life at the time of filing this report.
Also, his wife is reported to be in shock and has transited into a coma. She’s overwhelmed by the reality of the raid that came as a surprise.
- Father Christopher Odia
Another incident that took the nation by surprise is the death of a Catholic Priest, Rev. Father Christopher Odia, killed in Edo State by the kidnappers that abducted him months ago.
Before his death, Father Odia oversaw St. Michael Catholic Church at lkhabigbo in Etsako West Local Government Area, LGA of the state.
It was unfortunate that the squad launched to rescue him from his abductors could not get to him before they killed Father Odia out of frustration, according to the statement issued by the Deputy Public Relations Officer of the command, Jennifer Iwegbu.
- Father Vitus Borogo
A day after the gunmen killed Father Odia in Edo State, there was an earlier assassination of one Catholic priest, Rev. Father Vitus Borogo.
Reports revealed that he was murdered by bandits in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State, despite all efforts to secure him from getting harmed.
- Prelate Samuel Kalu-Uche
Lucky to be alive today to tell the tales of how kidnappers abducted him and two of his assistants, the Prelate of Methodist Church of Nigeria, Samuel Kanu-Uche, revealed that his church had to rally around to find one hundred million naira (N100,000,000) to settle the abductors before they were guaranteed freedom.
He was abducted initially from Umunneochi Local Government Area, LGA of Abia State, the South-east region of the country, alongside Abidemi Shittu with the Owerri Church Bishop, Dennis Okechukwu.
- Fathers Stephen Ojapa and Oliver Okpara
The series of kidnappings gave the suspicion that it was planned during the period when these events happened almost simultaneously in the different parts of Nigeria.
In what members described as a miracle following the safe return of their Priests after weeks of living in the kidnapper’s hideout, Catholic Priest and his assistant, Father Stephen Ojapa, MSP and Father Oliver Okpara, returned home unharmed and narrated their ordeal while in captivity.
Regarding their cases, the bandits managed to gain access to their church in Katsina State and grabbed both men of God, alongside two of their aides.
- Father Joseph Akete Bako
As for Father Joseph Akete Bako, he, unfortunately, ran out of luck in the abductors’ hands when St. John’s CatholicChurch, Kudenda in Kaduna State, later confirmed on April 24, 2022, to their fellowship members that the clergyman had met his untimely end.
- Rev. Father Leo Raphael Ozigi
In March of the same year, one Rev. Father Leo Raphael Ozigi of the St. Mary’s Catholic Church, the parish priest in the fellowship centre at Sarakin Pawa Village, Niger State, also testified the Glory of God in his life having survived the kidnappers’ den.
- Father Felix Zakari Fidson
Another kidnap case that came as a shock was that concerning Father Felix Zakari Fidson of the Zaria Diocese. He also experienced the horrors of abduction and living amidst evil men that have no conscience in taking lives.
The good Bishop was in captivity for no less than forty (40) days before he finally gained freedom.
This piece is open to your contribution as it might not have covered all the killed, kidnapped or hospitalised men of God cases that happened so far in 2022.