According to information gathered by the correspondent of RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY (RECONA), Nigeria is sinking deeper into a spiral of violence every day. Just a few days after the abduction of Father Basil on May 15, Father Olivier Buba, a priest from the Diocese of Yola in Adamawa State, was also kidnapped. This incident occurred on May 21 around 1 a.m. while he was in the refectory of the Sainte-Rita parish rectory.

Bishop Stephen Dami Mamza of the Diocese of Yola expressed his deep sorrow following the abduction: “With sadness, we reveal the kidnapping of one of our priests, Father Olivier Buba. We invite all the faithful, men and women of goodwill, to pray for the rapid release of our priest.” The diocese also requested the powerful intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of priests, to bring their brother back safely.

Nigeria, plagued by extreme violence, has become a fertile ground for kidnappings, particularly those targeting Christians. This country holds the grim record for the highest number of Christian kidnappings worldwide. In 2022, out of the 5,259 Christians kidnapped globally, 4,726 were Nigerians, according to the NGO Open Doors. Priests are particularly targeted, often abducted on the roads as they travel from parish to parish. Between 2006 and 2023, 53 priests were kidnapped, 16 killed, and 12 attacked, according to the Nigerian Episcopal Conference.

In response to this alarming situation, the Vatican expressed its growing concern in February 2024. The Dicastery for Evangelization called on the Nigerian government, emphasizing that “nothing can justify the crime of kidnapping.” The dicastery condemned the physical violence and mental torture accompanying these kidnappings, explaining that these acts undermine the foundations of civil and social harmony, traumatizing not only the victims and their families but also society as a whole.

The rise in kidnappings of priests and Christians in Nigeria calls for an urgent response from the international community. It is crucial that measures be taken to enhance security and provide support to the victims and their families. Nigerian authorities must be encouraged to intensify their efforts to combat this scourge and restore peace and security in the country.

Meanwhile, local communities continue to pray and seek ways to protect their religious leaders and members. Unity and solidarity are essential to overcoming this period of terror and hoping for a better future for all Nigerians.