From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Ignatius Kaigama, has described kidnapping as ungodly, criminal, sinful and degrading.
Kaigama said if left unchecked by the Nigerian authorities, the shameful and disgusting act will continue to give Nigeria a bad name and scare away visitors and investors from 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 and killings, and grant them a change of heart,” he said.
He empathised with parishioners of St. Anthony’s Parish, Yangoji, Abuja, over last year abduction of their parish priest, Matthew Dajo.
Dajo was kidnapped in November 2020, and later released after spending 10 days in captivity.
Kaigama said he was in Yangoji to encourage the parishioners to be firm in faith irrespective of the abduction of Dajo.
“Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I have come today to your parish to visit and pray with you, and to encourage you to persevere in faith and not to give in to despair, especially in the light of the kidnap of your parish priest, Dajo, from November 22 before his release on December 2, 2020.
“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,” he said.
Kaigama further commended the parishioners for remaining undaunted during the trying moments and not allowed the situation to demoralised them.
“I commend you for your strength of faith, and for persevering in prayers with the conviction that he would be released. You did not allow the incident to demoralise you as you continued your spiritual and pastoral activities to the surprise of the perpetrators.
“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,” Kaigama said.