• Monday, June 17, 2024
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Pope Francis condemns murder of Catholic Priest, Achi, as Buhari keeps mum

Beaten to death, burnt to death, perpetrators, and the rest of us

Pope Francis, the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church, called for prayers on Wednesday for Father Isaac Achi, the Parish Priest of St Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Kafin-koro, Minna, Niger State, who was killed by bandits. Yet President Muhammadu Buhari has kept mum about the slain priest.

In his call to pray, the Pope said that many Christians in Nigeria are still being attacked.

“I ask all of you to join me in praying for Father Isaac Achi, of the Diocese of Minna in northern Nigeria, who was killed last Sunday in an attack on his rectory,” Pope Francis tweeted.

“So many Christians continue to be the target of violence. Let us #PrayTogether for them.”

Pope Francis’ tweet has attracted over 336,000 views, 1433, re- twits and 7,371 likes as at Wednesday, 18th January.

Some of those who reacted to the twit described the death of Father Achi as “ very unfortunate”

“It’s very unfortunate what the lay and religious are facing in Nigeria. May the soul of Fr Isaac Achi and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God Rest In Peace!

“We join Pontiff Pope Francis with his prayers for Father Isaac Achi.
May the powerful hand of the Almighty Lord guide them during this difficult moments. Amen, Amen, Amen”

The killing of Achi provoked reaction from women and youths in Kafin-koro in Paikoro Local Government Area of Niger State, that led to them razing down the Kafin-koro Police Divisional office.

The incident which took place three days after the murder of Father Achi, was burnt to death by terrorists who invaded the parish’s residence.

It was gathered that trouble began when some Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) and Catholic women groups converged on the premises of the burnt parish as early as 7 am yesterday to pray against those who gruesomely murdered Achi.

Angered by the inability of the police to respond on time to prevent the death of the priest, the women refused to be pacified and resisted the protection provided by the police, on the ground that it was useless.

The reactions are coming as the government continues to keep mum over the death of Father Isaac Achi.

Read also: Again, gunmen attack INEC office in Enugu, kill police officer

The Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani) berated the federal government for its inability to, unravel the identify of those behind the killing of Catholic Priest and other religious leaders in the country.

He noted that it is either the government is overwhelmed, or someone in government is deliberately engaging in cover ups, by avoiding take appropriate actions due to the corruption in the security sector.

“By now, they should have muster enough intelligence to expose those behind the killings.

According to Ibrahim, “ The failure of government to tackle the issue of killing of Priests has further contributed to emboldening other criminals in doing same

“ Those involved should be identified. They are not spirits but human beings. If the security system is proactive enough, they should have been able to unearth the killers by now.

He called for a new approach to tackling insecurity, because according to him, “ government has the responsibility to lead in dealing decisively with perpetrators of these atrocities which now serve as motivation for others to commit crimes.

Prior to his death, Father Achi had served as the Parish Priest in charge of St. Theresa Catholic Church Madalla, before the Christmas Day celebration, in 2011.

BusinessDay gathered that he narrowly escaped that attack and had since then remained under the terrorists’ radar.