Gunmen suspected to be bandits have attacked Saint Albert the Great Institute of Philosophy, a seminary belonging to the Catholic Church at Fayit community in the Jama’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
The suspected kidnappers were said to have stormed the school premises on Monday evening with sophisticated weapons, surrounded the school, and overpowered the students who had just finished their evening prayers.
Spokesman of the Kaduna State Police Command, Mohammed Jalige, confirmed that three students were abducted by the gunmen who were said to have taken the students to an unknown destination before the arrival of local vigilantes who were able to prevent them from taking more students.
Also confirming the development in a statement, Emmanuel Okolo, chancellor of the Catholic diocese of Kafanchan in Kaduna, said six other seminarians were injured during the attack.
“We announce with unease the kidnap of three major seminarians of the Christ the King Major Seminary. Christ the King Major Seminary, our diocesan Major Seminary, is domiciled within the St. Albert Institute. It houses mostly the formators and seminarians preparing for the Catholic priesthood,” the statement read.
“The Seminarians receive academic formation from the St. Albert Institute. The event took place on Monday, 11th October 2021 at about 7.26pm, in the Chapel of the Seminary in Fayit, Fadan Kagoma in Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
“As at the time of the attack, 10 formators including the Rectors of the Seminary and the Institute, 132 seminarians, 6 non-seminarians, one female non-academic staff and one steward were on ground.
“Six seminarians sustained various degrees of injuries. A dispatch of soldiers of the Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) was on ground to accompany some formators and the injured seminarians to Salem Hospital in Kafanchan. There, they were treated and discharged after being confirmed to be stable.
“From the narrative of the seminary security agents, the law enforcement personnel and the headcount conducted after Mass on the 12th October, 2021, it was confirmed that three Theology Four seminarians were abducted. These seminarians belong to the Apostles of Divine Charity and the Little Sons of the Eucharist Congregation.”
The diocese asked the public to pray for the safety of the victims, adding that it would “use every legitimate means to ensure their prompt and secure release,” the statement added.
According to Jalige, a combined team of police tactical and anti-kidnapping squad of the command has launched a manhunt of the gunmen with a view to arresting them and rescuing the victims.