A Nigerian Catholic priest has been burnt to death by bandits in the North Central region of the country.
Father Isaac Achi was killed when bandits attacked his residence at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Kafin-Koro, Paikoro region, Niger State, early January 15. He was serving as a priest at the parish.
The bandits stormed the parish but could not gain entry because of the security, but upon sighting security personnel took to their heels after setting it on fire leading to the death of the clergyman who was trapped there.
Another priest, Father Collins Omeh, was also shot and injured as he attempted to run away. He is currently receiving treatment in the hospital.
The Catholic Church, Minna Diocese, in a statement, called for prayers for the Diocese and for the speedy recovery of the Father Collins.
The Niger State Police Command confirmed the incident, saying it took place at about 3am on that Sunday.
“On 15/01/2023 at about 0300hrs, armed bandits invaded the Parish residence of one Rev. Father Isaac Achi of St. Peters and Paul Catholic Church, along Daza road, Kafin-Koro, Paikoro LGA,” the spokesperson of the police in Niger State, Wasiu Abiodun, said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, the bandits reportedly attempted to gain entrance into the residence, but seems difficult and set the house ablaze, while the said Rev. Father was burnt dead.
“A colleague of the Rev. Father identified as Father Collins was equally shot in the shoulder while trying to escape from the scene. Police tactical teams attached to Kafin-Koro Div were immediately drafted to the scene, but the hoodlums had escaped before the arrival of the teams
.“The lifeless body of Father Isaac was recovered while Father Collins was rushed to the hospital for treatment.
“The Commissioner of Police, Niger State Command CP Ogundele Ayodeji has dispatched a reinforcement team to the area and effort is ongoing to apprehend the assailants as investigation into the unfortunate attack has commenced.”
The Niger State governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, has condemned the killing of Father Achi.
Reports say Father Achi escaped death some 11 years ago when terrorists bombed the Catholic Church in Madalla, a town located between Abuja and Suleja in Niger State.
The terrorist had bombed St. Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla on Christmas Day of 2011 killing scores of worshippers.
A Nigerian journalist, Ike Abonyi, who interviewed him days after the incident, said he had forgiven those terrorists who bombed the church.