Date:  March 24, 2020

The release of the wife and the secretary of a church leader in Bari, Kano State, abducted by gunmen on 10 March, was confirmed by the Church of Nigeria on 20 March.

The Church of Nigeria had announced the kidnapping in a statement released on 10 March. “It has been confirmed to the Secretariat of the Church of Nigeria that the wife of the Bishop of Bari Diocese, Mrs Saratu Zubairu, and Diocesan staff member, Deborah, were kidnapped this morning.” 


The militants raided Bari town, before abducting Saratu and Deborah. The Church of Nigeria also stated the gunmen demanded a ransom for both women. 

Christians are frequently kidnapped in northern Nigeria by Islamist groups. On 21 February, Boko Haram militants attacked Garkida, a Christian village. They stormed into a church during a women’s fellowship meeting and kidnapped some of the women. 

On 8 January, militants abducted four Christian students from a seminary and later murdered one of them, 18-year-old Michael Nnadi. In a separate incident Bola Ataga, the wife of a Christian doctor, was kidnapped from her home by gunmen on 24 January. Both Michael and Bola were found dead, dumped together on the roadside of the Kaduna-Abuja highway, Kaduna State, on 31 January.