Our cries fell on deaf ears: Kaduna CAN chairman
The chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, in Kaduna, Pastor John Joseph Hayab has criticized the apparent insensitivity of government to the plight of the people of Kaduna State, especially Christians.
Hayab said the people had suffered horrendous feats at the hands of bandits in the state, with little coming in form genuine efforts from government stamp out the men of evil.
The late seminarian was buried on Tuesday in the premises of the Good Shepherd Major Seminary in Karu, Kaduna. The four students were abducted from their hostel by gunmen dressed in military uniforms on January 9, 2020, according to a statement last Saturday night by Registrar, Good Shepherd Major Seminary Kaduna, Rev. Fr. Dr. Joel Usman.
Hayab used the occasion to renew his call on security personnel in the country to ensure the safety of Nigerian citizens, even as he commended renewed efforts by the Police to Free Kaduna State from Criminals; urging them to keep the momentum until the state and country are free from criminals.
“Kaduna State citizens have suffered untold hardship in the hands of bandits and evil men in recent years. As a result of an increase in banditry, many have been chased away from their homes and villages. The sad story is that bandits have kidnapped, killed and collected huge ransoms from victims for years.
“When such evil was going on, we cried to the government and security agencies to carry out their constitutional duties but it seemed the cries fell on deaf ears. However, the news that security men went after bandits in Birnin Gwari forest and killed many of them yesterday brings back hope and the expectations that good and peaceful days may be returning to our dear state and country.
“CAN Kaduna State, therefore, commends the Inspector General of Police and all the team for doing what law-abiding have expected them to do. Even though this effort may be coming late but it is better late than never. Therefore, we celebrate this feat and encourage the Police to keep the momentum until every criminal and all their hideouts are cleared for citizens to have a new lease of life.
“CAN appeals to all citizens to continue to pray for our security men and women and also to render any form of support needed to win the war against the enemies of the state.
“We pray for a quick recovery for those who sustained injuries in the course of the operation. Their sacrifices are appreciated and duly acknowledged,” Pastor Hayab stated.
Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of Sokoto Diocese, expressed sorrow at the death of the young seminarian.
In a statement he made available to Saturday Vanguard by its Director of Social Communications, Rev. Father Chris Omotosho, he said, “One of four Nigerian seminarians kidnapped last month has been killed, reportedly by his abductors. The three seminarians kidnapped along with him were released in the weeks following their kidnapping.
“With a very heavy heart, I wish to inform you that our dear son, Michael was murdered by the bandits on a date we cannot confirm. He and the wife of a doctor were arbitrarily separated from the group and killed. The Rector identified the corpse this afternoon,” Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of Sokoto, Nigeria, said in a statement released February 1.
Michael Nnadi was 18 years old. Information about the woman killed with Nnadi is not yet available. Nnadi himself was taken by gunmen from Good Shepherd Seminary in Kaduna, around 10.30 p.m. on January 8.
With him were Pius Kanwai, 19; Peter Umenukor, 23; and Stephen Amos, 23. The four seminarians were at the beginning of their philosophy studies. The gunmen, disguised in military camouflage, broke through the fence surrounding the seminarians' living quarters and began shooting sporadically. They stole laptops and phones before kidnapping the four young men.
On January 20, ACI Africa, CNA's African news partner, reported that one of the abducted seminarians had been freed by his kidnappers after 10 days in captivity.
That seminarian was dumped alongside the highway with extensive injuries, which are believed to have been sustained during the kidnapping. He is now receiving treatment.
On Friday, January 31, an official at Good Shepherd Seminary announced that two more of the kidnapped seminarians had been released. At that time, it was reported that one seminarian was still at large, and was presumed to remain in captivity. That seminarian was Nnadi.
In his February 1 statement, Bishop Kukah said that he had to delay the announcement of Nnadi's death slightly until his mother could be informed. “We have broken the news to her and I will be with her,” Kukah said February 1. “The Lord knows best. Let's remain strong and pray for the repose of his soul,” Kukah added.
Nearly 270 seminarians live at Good Shepherd. The seminary is located just off the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria Expressway. According to AFP, the area is “notorious for criminal gangs kidnapping travelers for ransom.” Schoolgirls and staff from a boarding school located near the same highway were kidnapped in October, and were later released.
In the last year, several priests and seminarians, along with pastors from other Christian denominations, have been kidnapped in Nigeria, some for ranson, and some by Islamist militant and terrorist groups. Church leaders have called on the government to prioritize the security of its citizens.