Continuous kidnapping in Nigeria has been described as a shameful and disgusting act which is giving the country a bad name and scaring away visitors and investors
This was the concern of the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, while preaching on the Sunday of the Baptism of the Lord (Year B) at St. Anthony’s Parish, Yangoji, Abuja.
Archbishop Kaigama said the act of kidnapping, to say the least, is criminal, sinful and degrades humanity. “Left unchecked by the Nigerian authorities, this shameful and disgusting act will continue to give Nigeria a bad name and scare away visitors and investors to the country. We pray for the release of those who are still in captivity and for the conversion of the perpetrators of this inhuman act. May Christ manifest Himself to the perpetrators of such evil actions as kidnapping, rape, killings, etc and grant them a change of heart”.
Aside from the pastoral and familiarization visit, the Archbishop was at St. Anthony, Yangoji to empathize with parishioners whose Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Matthew Dajo, was kidnapped and detained by his captors for ten days, from November 22, 2020, before his release on December 2, 2020.
During his homily, Archbishop Kaigama told the parishioners that he had come to pray with them and to encourage them to persevere in faith and not to give in to despair especially in the light of the kidnap of their parish priest, Fr. Matthew Dajo. “We thank God that despite his travails in the hands of his abductors, he remains generally well, apart from the psychological trauma he still suffers. In the name of Jesus, he will be completely healed”, the Archbishop prayed.
He commended the faithful for not allowing the sad incident to demoralize them as they continued spiritual and pastoral activities to the surprise of the perpetrators of such an evil.
According to the Archbishop: “Whatever may be the motive of the kidnap, monetary or sheer intimidation, it should be clear to those engaged in such nefarious activities that the Catholic Church in all parts of the world brings the Good News to the poor through huge sacrifices”. He added: “She complements government efforts through her selfless social, educational and medical services to the needy. Molesting the Church is molesting the needy. Whatever the Catholic Church has and does, is for the good of all, irrespective of religious, ethnic or political differences”.
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