On Friday, the story came to America, but Michael Nnadi’s testimony has gone viral on the other side of the world.
Early, last week a terrorist head and gang leader, Mustapha Mohammed, confessed that Michael proclaimed the gospel to his captors and would not stop. The Seminary Student at the Good Shepherd Seminary in Kaduna State was murdered, presumably by the group.
Mustapha, who is currently in police custody, said that they decided to kill Nnadi because he would not stop preaching to them from the moment he was kidnapped even though they are Muslim.
“The way that Mama and her grandchildren handled this family tragedy has shown clearly the depth of their faith,” wrote Matthew Kuhah for the Guardian, referring to Michael’s grandmother Eunice Nwokocha as “Mama,” and praising the woman’s leadership and raising the children with “fine principles and disciplines of the Catholic faith.”
The ICC detailed the timeline, from the kidnapping which took place on January 8th, to the initial ransom demand of 256,000 dollars before lowering it to 25,000. Nnadi’s body was then found on the side of the road along with a local doctor’s wife on February 1st.
Matthew chronicles the painful process of identifying Michael’s body and telling Mama.
“I watched her regain her composure and right up to Saturday, the evening before I left Sokoto, she had become a consoler and an inspiration to others,” he wrote in the article.
Writing on behalf of the Catholic Bishops in the West Africa brought together under the Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa (RECOWA), Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama expressed “profound condolences on the assassination of Mr. Michael Nnadi.”
“This heartless murder of the 18-year-old young man whose only fault was to have wished to serve God as a priest has thrown all of us into a big sorrow and has raised a lot of questions concerning the insecurity in our region as a whole and in Nigeria in particular,” Archbishop Kaigama said.
“We are equally touched by the pains of the family of late Mr. Michael Nnadi who must live with the sad memory of this horrible assassination. We ask the Lord to console them and grant them a lasting healing from the psychological injuries that this brutal murder has caused them,” the Nigerian continued.
The persecution of Christians and other minority groups in Nigeria is not new, Kukah wrote, but it cannot be ignored by Christians any longer.
“We Christians must be honest enough to accept that we have taken so much for granted…Christians must rise up and defend their faith with all the moral weapons they have,” he said. “We must become more robust in presenting the values of Christianity especially our message of love and non-violence to a violent society. Among the wolves of the world, we must become more politically alert, wise as the serpent and humble as the dove.”
Now that the Nigerian Government has a confession from one of the kidnappers, it is expected that he will be held accountable and all of those that he can identify will also be arrested and put into prison.
The real justice may come from Michael’s story which is inspiring a nation, inspiring a faith, inspiring a church and its people in a dark time of difficulty.