Bishops call for the release of kidnapped seminarians

The Catholic Bishops of Nigeria are appealing for the release of four major seminarians kidnapped in Kaduna, Nigeria, by unknown gunmen on the night of 8 January.


Source: Vatican News – Vatican City

RECOWA, the Catholic Bishops’ West African regional office based in Abidjan, Ivory Coast says the Catholic Bishops of Nigerian have appealed to the kidnappers to release the seminarians. No further details were made available.  Sources in Nigeria further told RECOWA  that the kidnappers have made contact with the families of the abducted seminarians but did not demand a ransom.

First-year philosophy students

The four missing seminarians, Pius Kanwai, 19; Peter Umenukor, 23; Stephen Amos, 23; and Michael Nnadi, 18 are first-year philosophy students at Kaduna’s Good Shepherd Seminary.

The students were kidnapped from the seminary in Kaduna, in northwestern Nigeria at about 10.30 pm when gunmen wearing military fatigue breached the seminary’ security fence and started shooting indiscriminately. Fortunately, there was no loss of life.

The seminary has 268 students.

Boko Haram have a history of mass kidnappings

The assault on the seminary was all too familiar in a region where Boko Haram and other Islamist groups use brutal and brazen methods to reinforce their reign of terror. Kidnappings, especially mass kidnappings, are a reprehensible but common ploy for the militants to court media attention, forced recruitment to their ranks but also as a way to extort money through demands for ransom.