Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Nigerian Catholic Parish Attacked, Parish Priest Killed, Assistant “in critical condition”

Nigeria Allows “violence to metastasize, take root”: Christian Entity after  Priest Murder

The Parish Priest of Sts. Peter and Paul Kaffin Koro Parish of the Catholic Diocese of Minna in Nigeria was killed following an attack on the Nigerian Parish during the early hours of Sunday, January 15.

“It is on a sad note that we announce the death of Very Rev.  Fr. Issac Achi of the Catholic Diocese of Minna,” the Nigerian Diocese says in a message obtained by ACI Africa.

The Diocese of Minna adds that while Fr. Achi’s Assistant, Fr. Collins Omeh, survived the attack, he is hospitalized and “in critical condition”.

Fr. Achi “was shot dead by Bandits that attacked the Parish in the early hours of today,” the message from the Nigerian Catholic Diocese indicates, and continues, “Please, remember Minna Diocese in your Prayers.”

Other reports on the 3 a.m. January 15 attack on the Catholic Parish located along Daza road in the Local Government Area (LGA) of Paikoro of Nigeria’s Niger State corroborate a video clip obtained by ACI Africa showing the burnt body of Fr. Achi in a building that is seen still in flames.   

The Chancellor of Minna Diocese has made “a call to pray for” the Nigerian Diocese.

In his letter addressed to the Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), Fr. Amanchukwu Emeka G. provides some updates about the situation of Fr. Omeh, saying, he “sustained some gunshot wounds but he is responding to treatment”.

“The Parish house was burnt to the ground,” Fr. Emeka says in his one-page message to Fr. Zechariah N. Samjuni of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN).

He adds, “Please pray for healing mercy from God for Fr. Collins, pray for Minna diocese, while further burial arrangement will be communicated in due course.”

Sahara Reporters, has quoted the Niger State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, as saying, "The Commissioner of Police, Niger State Command CP Ogundele Ayodeji had dispatched a reinforcement team to the area and effort is ongoing to apprehend the assailants as investigation into the unfortunate attack has commenced."

According to Nigeria’s Daily Post, the Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Sani Bello Abubakar, has described the attack on Sts. Peter and Paul Kaffin Koro Catholic Parish and killing of Fr. Achi as “ungodly and inhumane”.

“This is a sad moment, for a priest to be killed in such a manner means that we are not all safe, these terrorists have lost it, and drastic action is needed to end this ongoing carnage,” Governor Bello who has reportedly directed the local security agencies to pursue the attackers is quoted as saying.

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