John Cheitnum, one of two Catholic priests recently abducted in Kaduna, has been killed by his abductors

The other priest, Donatus Cleopas, was said to have escaped from captivity. 

TheCable had reported on July 15 that two priests were kidnapped shortly after they arrived the parısh rectory of Christ the King Catholic Church in Yadin Garu, Lere LGA of Kaduna state.

According to a statement issued on Tuesday, Emmanuel Okolo, the chancellor of the Kafanchan Catholic Diocese, said Cheitnum was “brutally murdered ” while his colleague escaped. 

Sequel to the announcement of the two kidnapped priests from our diocese, we wish to announce that Rev. Fr. Donatus Cleophas escaped from his abductors and has reunited with us,” he said.

“However, it is with a deep sense of sorrow and pains that the Bishop, clergy, religious and laity of the diocese of Kafanchan announce the gruesome murder of very Rev. Fr. John Mark Cheitnum.”

Okolo said Cheitnum was killed by his abductors on the day he was kidnapped, but his decomposed body was found days  later. 

He said the church has declared two days for mourning and prayers for the repose of the deceased’s soul. 

“Cheitnum was brutally killed by his abductors on the same day of his abduction, Friday 15h July, 2022 and his decomposed corpse was discovered on Tuesday 19 July, 2022,” he said.

“Until his demise he was the CAN Chairman, Jama’a LGA, as well as the coordinating chairman of CAN, Southern Kaduna. 

“Cheitnum was also the dean of Kwoi deanery, director of communications in the diocese of Kafanchan, and the Pastor of St. James Parish Fori, Jama’a LGA, Kaduna State.

“As we solicit prayers for the repose of our dear brother Priest and God’s consolation to his immediate family, we wish to humbly call on all and sundry to refrain from taking the laws into their hands. 

“The diocese has declared a two-day mourning for peaceful repose of his soul and may his soul and the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.”

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