Unidentified gunmen have killed a Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Alphonsus Bello, and abducted another priest, Rev. Fr. Joe Keke at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church Malunfashi, Katsina state.
It was gathered that the gunmen, on Thursday night, stormed the Catholic parish and started shooting sporadically into the air, leaving some people injured in the process.
The National Social Communications Director, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Padre Mike Umoh, who confirmed the incident, said the suspected bandits dumped Bello’s lifeless body on the farmland behind the Catechetical Training School, Malunfashi while the whereabouts of Fr. Joe Keke were still unknown.
He said, “Last night, one of the parishes of the Sokoto Diocese – St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church Malunfashi, in Katsina state – was attacked by unknown gunmen.
“Two priests were kidnapped, Frs. Joe Keke and Alphonsus Bello. Fr Keke, the former parish priest, is in his late 70s while Fr. Bello, the current parish priest, is in his 30s.
“This morning (Friday) the body of Fr Alphonsus Bello was found lifeless on the farmland behind the Catechetical Training School, Malunfashi. However, the whereabouts of Fr. Joe Keke are still unknown. No contact has been made thus far.”
Meanwhile, a reliable source from the Catholic diocese of Sokoto said the deceased priest belonged to the Kaduna Archdiocese, but was on secondment in Sokoto Diocese and deployed to the Malumfashi parish in Katsina.