Nigeria: Murder of a Seminarian

February 09, 2020

The abduction of four seminarians in central Nigeria had a sad epilogue on February 1, with the death of 18-year-old Michael Nnadi.

“With great sadness, we have to inform you that Michael, the last seminarian in the hand of the captors, has been killed.” Information released by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) on February 1, 2020, once again confirmed the ongoing, 10-year bloody persecution of Catholics in Nigeria.

On the evening of January 8, 2020, four seminarians from the Bon Pasteur major seminary in Kaduna, in the center of the country, were taken by kidnappers who have not been identified as of this date.

Just over ten days later, one of them was found half-dead on the side of the highway connecting Kaduna to Abuja, after being beaten and tortured. On January 31, two of the three seminarians still in the hands of their captors were released in their turn. They are undergoing medical treatment; there are no further details on the state of their health.

The epilogue of the kidnapping took place on February 1. Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, Bishop of Sokoto, confirmed the murder of 18-year-old Michael Nnadi: “With a very heavy heart, I wish to inform you that our dear son Michael was murdered by the bandits on a date we cannot confirm. The Rector identified the corpse this afternoon. Let us remain strong and pray for the repose of his soul.”

Since 2009, violence caused by Islamism—and the organized crime that is often linked to it—has claimed more than 35,000 victims in Nigeria, according to figures released by the United Nations.