From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), on Friday, confirmed that unknown gunmen killed a Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Alphonsus Bello, in Katsina, and also kidnapped another one, Rev. Fr. Joe Keke, who is in his 70s.
The priests, Rev. Fathers Joe Keke and Alphonsus Bello were serving St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church Malunfashi, Katsina state, where the incident happened.
Director of Communications, CSN, Padre Mike Umoh, in a statement, on Friday, stated that the Director of Communications for Sokoto Catholic diocese, Rev. Fr. Chris Omotosho, reported the incident to the headquarters of CSN in Abuja.
He said the Dean of Malumfashi Deanery, Fr. Stephen Ojapah (MSP) had earlier reported that the parish house of St. Vincent Ferrer Church had been attacked by bandits numbering about 15, and Frs. Joe Keke and Alphonsus Bello were kidnapped.
“The lifeless body of Rev. Fr. Alphonsus Bello was found on Friday morning on the farmland behind the Catechetical Training School, Malumfashi in Katsina State, which is part of Sokoto diocese under Bishop Matthew Kukah,” he noted.
He confirmed that the whereabouts of Fr. Joe Keke is still unknown and no contact has been made thus far by the kidnappers.
Rev. Fr. Alphonsus Bello until his death, was the parish priest of St. Vincent, while Fr. Joe
Keke, 75 years, was a priest in residence.