1. Killing of Priests Increases


A young Catholic priest serving in the Diocese of Auchi, Edo State, has been killed by kidnappers over the past weekend. The administrator for St Michael Catholic Church, in Ikabigbo, Etsako West Local Government Area, Fr Christopher Odia, was also the principal of St Phillip Catholic Secondary School Jattu. He was abducted while on his way to say Sunday Mass at St. Michael Catholic Church. In a statement attributed to Fr Peter Egielewa, the director of social communications in the diocese of Auchi, he has this to say: “With heavy hearts but with total submission to the will of God, we announce the death of our priest, Rev. Fr. Christopher Odia, who was killed by his abductors after being kidnapped this morning, 26 June 2022 at about 6:30 am in his rectory.” He was 41 at the time of his death, and ordained in 2012.



Another priest also serving in Nigeria has also been killed, in Kaduna State. This after another priest, Fr. Joseph Bako, was killed by his kidnappers in May. Fr. Vitus Borogo, was killed by suspects thought to be terrorists in the highly volatile state. He was killed on Saturday at Prison Farm, Kajuna, near the Kaduna-Kachia road in Chikun Local Government area. The 50 year old priest was the chaplain of the Nigerian Catholic Diocesan Priests Association (NCPDA) Kaduna chapter. Fr. Christian Emmanuel, Chancellor of Kaduna Diocese, says, “It is with a heavy heart but with total submission to the will of God that we announce the death of

Rev. Fr. Vitus Borogo, which sad event took place today (Saturday), at Prison Farm, Kajuma, along Kaduna-Kachia road, after a raid on the farm by terrorists.” The Bishop of the diocese, Most. Rev. Matthew Man-Oso Ndagoso, consoled the family, the fraternity of Kaduna Polytechnic and its broader community, and assured them of his prayers for them. “meanwhile, we commit his soul to the maternal intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and call on all men and women of goodwill to continue to pray for the peaceful repose of his soul and for the consolation of his bereaved family, especially his mother.”



Another two priests, who were also kidnapped in Kaduna State, have been released from captivity. Fr. Stephen Ojapa and Fr. Oliver Okpara, who were both kidnapped on 25 May 2022, were taken from the rectory of St. Patrick Catholic Church, Gidan Maikambo, by unknown gunmen. A statement released by the diocese reads: “With hearts full of joy, we announce that our brethren Fr. Stephen Ojapa, Fr. Oliver Okpara, Mr. Hassan Hassan and Ms. Ummie Hassan who were abducted by gunmen at midnight of 25th May, 2022 in the rectory of St Patrick’s Catholic Church, Gidan Maikambo, Kafur LGA of Katsina State, have all gained freedom. We thank you for your prayers, support, encouragement and show of love. May the name of the Lord be praised, now and forever? Amen.”


2. Displacement of Farmers Leads to Food Insecurity in Benue State



In Benue state, approximately 1, 5 million people are homeless, living in various Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) camps across the state. This is according to Dr. Gabriel Nyitse, Chief of Staff for Governor Samuel Ortom. Nyitse said this during the 70th anniversary celebration Thanksgiving Mass of the Knights of Saint Mulumba Nigeria, held at St Leo Catholic Church, Ikeja, and this past Sunday. Nyitse made note of ongoing banditry, which had led to many farmers giving up their land parcels and being driven into destitution, which would only add to food insecurity, in the state and generally across the country. “Many of our prime farmers are in IDP camps having been rendered homeless by rampaging bandits. Those are the farmers the state and the country rely on for farm produce; they are languishing in camps, being fed with ration by the state government. The state depends on revenue from farm produce. At the moment we are at a crossroad without the active contribution of those farers as they cannot access their farms because of fear of being kidnapped”, he continued. He went on to call Christians to go into politics in order to be able to wrangle power, and encouraged them not to lose faith, but to instead continue praying for God’s intervention in Nigeria.


3. Abduction of Farmers now Threatens Food Security in Abuja



In Abuja, gunmen have kidnapped 22 farmers from their fields in unabating abductions across the country. According to police spokesperson Oduniyi Omotayo, “The incident happened in Rafin Daji, a boundary community between Niger (state) and the FCT (Federal Capital territory)…22 were confirmed kidnapped. The farmers were on their farmland working when gunmen outnumbered and kidnapped them, with the security forces soon after going into nearby forests in an effort to rescue them. This will lead to food insecurity in the country in the near future with fewer and fewer people willing to go into agriculture, according to the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Mr Arc Kabir; “It is very discouraging to the farmers to work assiduously to feed the teeming population of our country when their comrades are kidnapped all over the place. Unless proactive action is taken to protect the farmers as they work to produce optimally to bring about food sufficiency it will be very difficult for Nigerians to feed themselves this year.”


Stay Up-To-Date!