Noah Ebije, Kaduna
After more than 20 days in captivity, one of the four Catholic seminarians kidnapped by gunmen early January in Kaduna has been killed by the kidnappers.
The seminarian identified as Michael Nnaji was killed on Saturday, while the other three were set free in batches by their abductors.
One was set free a fortnight ago, while two were released penultimate Friday.
Those set free are Kanwai Pius, Stephen Amos John Paul, Umeanuka Peter. They are students of philosophy at the Good Shepherd Major Seminary.
A Catholic priest in one of the parishes in Kaduna City told the congregation on Sunday, shortly after the homily, that they should pray for the seminarians that have been released by the kidnappers.
He said: “Though three of them have been released, unfortunately, one has been killed. His name is Michael Nnaji.
“He was killed yesterday despite a huge amount of money paid to them as ransom.
“This is the type of country we find ourselves, especially Kaduna State. There is no security, people are being kidnapped on a daily basis. Kaduna has become the worst state in Nigeria in terms of insecurity.
“I urge every one of us to continue to pray for God’s protection over our lives and country,” the priest said.
Four students seminarians of the Catholic Good Shepherd Major Seminary, located along Kaduna-Abuja highway, Kakau area, in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State, were abducted by heavily armed men suspected to be kidnappers after gaining access to the school premises.
The Kaduna State Police Command had said the gunmen in military uniforms attacked the school on January 9 and made away with the four students.
The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Yakubu Sabo, had said but for the quick intervention of the operatives of the Command, the kidnappers would have made away with more than the four students.
Earlier, the Registrar of the school, Rev Father Joel Usman, announced the release of the three seminarians by their abductors on Friday.
Usman, however, was silent on whether a ransom was paid or not before the three students were released by the kidnappers.
The Registrar in a statement had said: “With joy the Formators, Staff and Seminarians of Good Shepherd Major Seminary, Kaduna, Kaduna State, announce the safe release of 3 of our Seminarians by their captors.”
Before the latest development, Father Usman had added, “one is still at large. We thank you our brothers and sisters for your prayers in our travails.
“Kindly continue to pray for the remaining one and all those who are still in the hands of kidnappers.”