On the first burial anniversary of Seminarian Michael Nnadi, the Local Ordinary of Nigeria’s Sokoto Diocese has regretted the lack of progress in preventing abductions and murders.
Speaking to journalists at the end of the February 12 memorial Mass, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah said, “It is quite tragic that one year later, we are still closer to nowhere we hope to be. The harvest of death has gotten richer, more and more people are dying.”
“Things have gotten progressively worse as far as the lives of our ordinary people are concerned,” Bishop Kukah said at the Holy Family Catholic Cathedral of Sokoto Diocese.
He added, “It is a matter of great concern and great sadness that we haven’t come anywhere close to securing our people and securing our country.”
Aged 18, Michael was among four seminarians abducted from the Good Shepherd Major Seminary in Kaduna on the night of 8 January 2020. While three of the seminarians were released, Michael, a native of Sokoto Diocese, was found murdered 20 days later.
In his message, the Bishop of Sokoto described Michael’s death as a “message of renewal” for Africa’s most populous country.
“Amid all this trouble, we as Christians have a message of renewal that this is not where God wants our country to be,” Bishop Kukah said in reference to insecurity in the country.
He added, “We believe in the supremacy of His will and we also believe that amid all these confusion, death, unnecessary blood-shedding, that He has a message for us, and the message is for us to urgently think about building our country.”
“There is a saying in Christianity that the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christianity. Our religion has never triumphed because of patronage or government or because of the amounts of kingdoms that we run,” the 67-year-old Bishop said in reference to Seminarian Michael’s death.
In honor of the slain Seminarian, the Bishop's residence in the Diocese of Sokoto has been renamed Michael Nnadi House.
The Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Kaduna have also approved the construction of a Shrine at the Good Shepherd Seminary, in honor of Seminarian Michael Nnadi.
“In future,” Bishop Kukah said, “We hope to advance the course for Michael for him to be recognized by the Catholic Church as a martyr.”
According to the Prelate, Michael’s course for sainthood should be advanced because “we have never had that kind of experience. That the people who killed him, actually came and testified that they killed Michael because he was preaching to them and telling them that what they were doing was not right.”
Mustapha Mohamed, one of Michael’s killers, said they murdered the Seminarian because he “continued to preach the gospel of Christ” to his captors.
Another memorial Mass for Seminarian Michael Nnadi has been scheduled to take place on February 27 at the Good Shepherd Major Seminary in Kaduna.