One of the kidnapped Catholic priests have been found dead and the other escaped from their abductors in Kaduna State.
The two priests, Donatus Suleiman and John Cheitnum, on Friday July 15 were reportedly kidnapped as soon as they arrived at the rectory of Christ the King Catholic Church, Yadin Garu in Lere Local Government Area of Kaduna State for a church programme.
According to a statement on Tuesday by the Counsellor of the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan, Emmanuel Okolo, Suleiman, who miraculously escaped from his abductors, has reunited with the church.
Announcing the incident, the statement read: “It is with deep sense of sorrow and pains that the bishop, clergy, religious and laity of the diocese of Kafanchan announce the gruesome murder of Very Rev. Fr. John Mark Cheitnum.
“Cheitnum was murdered on the day he was kidnapped and his corpse was later discovered almost decomposing on Tuesday. Until his death, Cheitnum was the CAN chairman of Jama’a local government of Kaduna State as well as the coordinating chairman of CAN in southern Kaduna.
“He was also the Dean of Kwoi Deanery, Director of Communications in the Diocese of Kafanchan and pastor of Saint James Parish in Jama’a Local Government.
“He will be buried on July 21 at the Cathedral of Saint Peter, Kafanchan, at 10.00a.m. Meanwhile, the diocese has declared two-day mourning for him.
“So, we are calling on Catholics to pray for the family of the deceased and we are also appealing that the general public should refrain from taking the law into their hands.”