NIGERIA: Joseph Aketeh Bako, Priest Abducted in March Dies in captivity

By Arnold Neliba

KADUNA, MAY 13, 2022 (CISA)-48-year-old priest, Fr Joseph Aketeh Bako who was kidnapped in March 2022, has been announced dead by the Catholic Archdiocese of Kaduna.

According to a statement signed by the Chancellor of the archdiocese, “The fact of the circumstances leading to his death and the date of the incident have been carefully verified.”

“It is with a heavy heart, but with total submission to the will of God that we announce the death of Rev. Fr Joseph Aketeh Bako, which sad event took place in the hands of his abductors between 18th and 20th of April 2022,” Fr Christian Okewu Emmanuel wrote.

Fr Aketeh who was serving as Parish Priest at St John Catholic Church in Kudenda was kidnapped from his residence on March 8 and was in captivity until his death.

As the archdiocese prepares for funeral arrangements, Fr Okewu in the statement also confirmed that Most Rev Matthew Man-Oso Ndagoso, the Catholic Archbishop of Kaduna has communicated “his deepest sympathies to his immediate family and the entire Catholic Community of St Joseph Kudenda; and assured them of his fraternal closeness and prayers.”

Voicing on the increase of abductions in Nigeria, Bishop Hyacinth Oroko Egbebo of the Catholic Diocese of Bomadi lamented that the increased spate of violence in the country has made it difficult to travel through Nigeria by road, thereby, negatively affecting the economy and livelihood of the people.

The bishop blamed the rising cases of kidnapping on unemployment among the youth while at the same time appealing for a steady but quick solution to arrest the problem.

However, In Uyo, the Chancellor for the Catholic Diocese of Uyo, Fr Charles Ekeng, is inviting prayers for the safe release of Fr Alphonsus Uboh, the Parish Priest of St. Pius X Catholic Church, while also appealing to the masses “not to take laws into their hands.”

Fr Uboh was abducted on Sunday, May 8, in the evening on return to his residence from visiting a sick parishioner.