Gunmen believed to be militants of the Boko Haram terror group have abducted a Catholic Priest in northeast Nigeria, SaharaReporters revealed Monday.
The priest, Father Elijah Juma Wada, was abducted last Wednesday along the Damboa-Maiduguri road where he was travelling to St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Damaturu for the 10th anniversary thanksgiving Mass of his friend, Father Yakubu Inda Philibus.
“Please, My dear Facebook friends let’s pray for the release of this Man of God by name Rev .Fr Elijah Juma Wada who was kidnapped by Boko Haram in Borno State,” wrote Manasseh Comfort Dooshima in a Facebook post.
“He is a Catholic priest with the diocese of Maiduguri. God have mercy on your servant,” she said, while posting a photo of the victim.
In May, the Catholic bishops of Nigeria warned against growing national insecurity as kidnappings for ransom have spiraled out of control in the west African country.
Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of the Nigerian capital of Abuja on May 24 to protest the escalation of cases of abduction, which now affect citizens of every social class, even the poorest.
Kaduna Archbishop Matthew Hassan Kuka said at the time that “Nigeria is a confused nation without direction because no one knows where we come from or where we are going.”
Meanwhile, the Bishop of Yola, Stephen Dami Mamza, said citizens “are losing faith in the government because it fails to fulfill its primary constitutional responsibility, which is the protection of the life and property of its citizens.”
As Breitbart News reported, both the Boko Haram Islamic terror group and Muslim Fulani raiders have expanded their territory in Nigeria with a growing number of attacks and kidnappings outside their usual strongholds. Among those kidnapped have been several Catholic priests.
In April, the Rev. Caleb Ma’aji, secretary of the Kaduna state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), voiced his distress over the Nigerian government’s apparent inability to protect Christians.
“We wonder, what is the crime of innocent citizens, and how come the terrorists appear more free and protected than the citizens?” Ma’aji said. “This is a challenge to the government; indeed a government that is unable to guarantee the safety of its citizens and their properties will be best termed a failed government.”
In February, the Nigerian Bishops Conference released a statement condemning the ongoing situation of insecurity in the country, while also reproaching President Buhari for his failure to act.
“We are really on the brink of a looming collapse, from which we must do all we can to pull back before the worst overcomes the nation,” the bishops declared.
“The very survival of the nation is at stake,” they said. “The nation is falling apart.”