CV NEWS FEED // Following the abduction of Fr. Paul Sanogo and seminarian Melkiori Dominick Mahinini in Nigeria last week, the kidnappers are now demanding $70,000 in ransom for the two men.
Sanogo and Mahinini are workers and missionaries at St. Luke’s Catholic Church – Gyedna in the Diocese of Minna. They were kidnapped from the church on the morning of August 3. The Citizen, a major English newspaper in Tanzania, reported that Mahinini is a seminarian from the area of Kigoma, Tanzania, who was sent to Nigeria for continuing studies.
The bishop of Minna, Rev. Martin Igwemezie Uzoukwu, immediately announced the kidnapping and requested all faithful in the diocese to pray for the men’s safe return.
Tanzania’s ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Benson Bana, is working to rescue the two men, according to The Citizen.
“After receiving reports of abduction, the Embassy has informed the government at home [Tanzania]. We have also communicated the matter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nigeria,” Bana said.
Bana also pointed out that discussing the demanded ransom of $70,000 with the kidnappers is tricky, because if their demands are not met, the bandits can easily inflate the ransom to over $665,000.
According to The Citizen, the president of the Tanzanian bishops’ conference, Archbishop Gervas Nyaisonga, said that the church in Tanzania is praying for the two men.
“We insist on the importance of respecting the principles of human rights and stir on diplomatic efforts to ensure abducted people are unconditionally freed,” he said.
The kidnapping is the latest event in decades of Christian persecution in Nigeria. Open Doors, an organization that keeps track of Christian persecution throughout the world, reported that Nigeria ranks 6th on their World Watch list, making it one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a Christian.
Bishop Uzoukwu did not respond to a request for comment. Dr. Bana and Bishop Nyaisonga could not be reached for further comments.