The Vatican and Catholics all over the world have been left worried following the abduction of an Italian priest in Niger.
An Italian Catholic Priest who was working as a Missionary in Niger Republic has been kidnapped, a Vatican news agency reported on Tuesday.
Father Pierluigi Maccalli of the Society of African Missions (SMA) was abducted overnight, Agenzia Fides reported, quoting another Catholic priest based in Niger, Father Mauro Armanino.
Maccalli organised meetings against local practices like circumcision and female genital mutilation, and this “may be one of the reasons for the kidnapping, according to local sources,’’ Fides said.
A Niger government spokesman, Abdourahamane Zakaria, confirmed the kidnapping of an Italian near the border with Burkina Faso.
The Niger Defence Ministry added that the abductee was a priest.
Maccalli was based in the Bomoanga parish in the Niamey diocese, Fides said.
His mission was in the Gourmance area near the Burkina Faso border, about 125 kilometres from Niamey, it added.
The Italian embassy in Niger asked local authorities to give top priority to the case and to avoid “initiatives that may put at risk Father Maccalli,’’ the Italian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
In a second report, Fides said it heard from unnamed SMA sources that the priest was “probably taken across the border’’ to Burkina Faso where jihadist groups have set up bases.
Maccalli’s brother Walter, also a missionary priest, told ANSA: “We wish with all our heart that everything will work out for the best. In some cases all you can do is pray and wait with hope’’.
There are several Islamist groups in Niger’s border area with Mali and Burkina Faso, some of whom have sworn allegiance to the Islamic State and al-Qaeda.
Latest Nigeria News
- Real Madrid Eye Conte As Lopetegui’s Replacement
- How NASS Plans To Pressure Buhari To Assent To Petroleum Industry Governance Bill – Saraki
- No Man Is Perfect – School Principal Speaks After Flogging Female NYSC Member (Photos)
- Trapped Journalists And Civil Servants Recount Ordeal In Kaduna Crisis
- Nigerian Eiye Cultist Killed By Rival Gang At A Nightclub In South Africa (Photos)
- Osun poll: Tribunal orders substituted service on INEC, Oyetola
- Grand corruption my biggest surprise as Vice-President – Osinbajo
- Naira loses marginally against dollar at parallel market
- Those who feel they have another country are free to go —Buhari
- “Nnamdi Kanu Is Not In Jerusalem” – Isreali Government Reacts
- CBN revokes nine micro-finance banks’ licences in Niger
- Why majority of Benue residents oppose Buhari’s re-election – Gov Ortom
- Captain Ozil shines in stellar Arsenal comeback
- Ashanti Cancels Concert After Selling Only 24 Tickets
- Xenophobia: 9 Nigerian-owned Shops Burnt In South Africa
- Unbelievable : Doctors Find 122 Nails Inside Patient’s Stomach During Operation
- Priest Commits Suicide After Being Accused Of Abusing A Child
- Is The Lagos Assembly Truly Planning To Impeach Ambode? Find Out What The Speaker Has To Say
- BBNaija’s Nina Shows Off Her Mother And Sisters As She Celebrates Her Mother’s Birthday
- NYSC Suspends Batch ‘C’ Orientation Course Indefinitely In Kaduna Over Unrest
- Osinbajo, Other Top Politicians Present As Alaafin Of Oyo Celebrates 80th Birthday (Photos)
- See A Teenage Female Blogger Allegedly Buys Two Cars For Her Parents As ‘Thank You’ Gifts (Photos)
- Norway To Increase Visa Issuance To Nigerians
- OMG : Heavy Flood Sweeps Away Van Containing Drugs Worth Millions In Delta
- Revealed: Saraki’s Anointed Candidate For Kwara Governorship Skips NYSC, Forges Certificate
- Lagos OAP Rocks Braless, Open Chest Outfit To Public Gathering (Photos)
- 55 Dead: Governor Nasir El-Rufai Imposes 24-Hour Curfew In Kaduna
- Governor Amosun Breaks Silence After Reports Alleged He Has Dumped APC
- Tragedy As Man Stabs Customer To Death Over N200 Beer At A Bar (Photos)
- Oshiomhole attacks APC chiefs plotting his removal
- Religious leaders visit Buhari just to take photographs – Bakare
- We Will Attack Israel If Nnamdi Kanu Is Not Deported Back To Nigeria – Lai Mohammed
- APC Expels Former SGF, Nnamani
- 2019: Man Who Rode Bicycle From Owerri To Abuja For Atiku, Collapses, Lands In Hospital (Photos)
- JUST IN: El-Rufai imposes 24-hour curfew on Kaduna
- Nnamdi Kanu Radio Biafra Broadcast: “I decree that there is no longer S/East or S/South Nigeria” (Full Message)
- There’s a gang up against me – Adams Oshiomhole cries out
- What APC Used To Deceive Shehu Sani – Ben Bruce
- It Is Possible For America To Lift Visa Ban On Atiku Any Time Soon – Campaign Spokesperson
- Nigerian Soldiers Hold Church Service With Their AK-47 Rifles (Photo)