One of the four seminarians kidnapped after an armed group attack on the Good Shepherd Major Seminary, Kaduna on the night of 8 January, has been released last weekend by the kidnappers because he was quite ill. The other three seminarians remain in captivity.

The freed seminarian, who has not yet been identified, was found on the highway and picked up by passing motorists to a Catholic hospital in Kaduna, Nigeria where he is currently being treated. The extent of his injuries is unclear, but he is being treated in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

“Before his abduction, this seminarian was seriously ill and while in captivity, his situation became dramatic that kidnappers had to free him.

The students, Pius Kanwai, 19; Peter Umenukor, 23; Stephen Amos, 23; and Michael Nnadi, 18, were abducted on the night of Jan. 8 in a 30-minute operation that saw the kidnappers, dressed in military uniform and armed with guns, force their way onto the Catholic seminary campus, which is home to 268 seminarians.

However, last week, Nigerian bishops launched a call for the release of the four seminarians aged between 18 and 23.  Kidnappings of Christians in Nigeria have multiplied in recent months, a situation that has prompted Church leaders to express serious concern about the security of their members and to call on the government to prioritize the security of its citizens.