A seminarian died last night when extremists torched a presbytery in Nigeria’s Kafanchan Diocese.
The incident took place around 8pm on Thursday 7th September, when Fulani bandits attacked and set fire to the rectory of St Raphael’s parish in Fadan Kamantan, Kaduna State.
According to Bishop Julius Kundi of Kafanchan, parish priest Father Emmanuel Okolo and the assistant priest were able to escape the fire, but seminarian Na’aman Danlami, 25, died in the attack.
Speaking to Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), Bishop Kundi said: “The attackers were aiming to kidnap the parish priest. When they failed in their attempt to enter the Father’s house, they set it on fire. The two priests were able to escape but, terribly, the seminarian was burned inside.
“The assault lasted more than an hour, but there was no reaction or support from the military forces. A kilometre away there is a checkpoint, but there was a total absence of reaction.”
Bishop Kundi added: “It’s a terrible loss. We recovered the body of Na’aman Danlami this morning and took it to the morgue.
“This seminarian is the second member we have lost in the diocese at the hands of terrorist attacks by Fulani bandits – last year Father John Mark Cheitnum, Director of Communications of the Diocese of Kafanchan, was kidnapped and brutally murdered.”
Another seminarian, Ezequiel Nuhu, was abducted in Kaduna yesterday, along with his father.
He is studying for the priesthood in Abuja but had gone to Southern Kaduna to holiday with his family.
The Church in Nigeria has suffered from ongoing attacks against members of the clergy.
In 2022 four priests were killed in the country and 28 were kidnapped, and this year, 2023, the number of clerics kidnapped has already reached fourteen.
ACN is calling for prayers for the repose of the soul of Na’aman Danlami and for the quick release of Ezekiel Nuhu.