Abducted Kaduna priest dies in captivity

The chancellor of the Kaduna Catholic Archdiocese, Christian Emmanuel, has said a Reverend Father, Joseph Bako, has died in the kidnappers’ hideout, the Daily trust newspaper is reporting.

Mr Bako was abducted by gunmen in St John Catholic Church, Kudenda in the Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State in March.

Mr Emmanuel said the 48-year-old priest died after battling sickness while in the kidnappers’ den.

According to reports, Mr Bako was denied access to his drugs by the bandits which led to his death.

“His own brother was killed there in his presence and after his brother was killed, his condition worsened and he died. We have not recovered his corpse but we have confirmed his death. People who were kidnapped together with him saw him die,” Mr Emmanuel said.

Kaduna, like in other areas in Nigeria’s North-west region, is convulsing under the attacks by gunmen locally called bandits who attack mostly rural communities and travellers.

These bandits have been blamed for killing thousands of people. They have also abducted many more in what is shaping to become one of the worst kidnap-for-ransom syndicates in the history of the country.

In the face of the failure of the government to protect residents of the area, many communities have set up vigilante groups to protect residents from attacks by bandits but this has worsened the security challenges in the area as it has given rise to an explosion of tit-for-tat killings between the bandits (who are mostly of Fulani extraction) and the vigilante groups set up by the majority Hausa communities in the area.

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