Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has condemned the killing of Rev. Fr. Isaac Achi, of Minna Catholic Diocese, saying “attacking a religious facility to murder anyone is the worst dimension of terrorist attacks.”
“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”, he added.
He asked the security agencies to evolve new strategies that will end the atrocious and barbaric acts.
Meanwhile, the youth wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (YOWICAN) has described the burning of a Catholic Church and killing of Rev. Fr. Isaac Achi, as a pure terrorist attack targeted at wiping out the entire Christian community in Nigeria.
A statement by the YOWICAN chairman, Amb. Belusochukwu Enwere, said the killing and burning alive of the priest as well as the parish house was the most wicked and barbaric act by the blood-sucking bandits.
“The continuous killing, as well as kidnapping of Christian clerics in Nigeria is alarming. This has to be stopped at all costs. The Christian community must rise and come together to put to an end to this. .
“Those behind these senseless killings and burning of the parish house must be brought to book. Nigeria is becoming a killing field where people are slaughtered like chickens.
“We call on the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari, security agencies, and the government of Niger State to please help salvage this ugly situation before it gets out of control,” he stated.
The bandits yesterday morning set ablaze a Catholic Parish House in Kaffin Koro and killed the parish priest, Rev. Father Isaac Achi and injured his assistant identified as Father Collins.
The state police command public relations officer (PPRO) Wasiu Abiodun confirmed that the bandits invaded the Parish residence of the Rev. Father Isaac Achi of St. Peters and Paul Catholic Church along Daza road, Kafin-Koro, Paikoro local government area.
Abiodun confirmed that “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.
“Unfortunately, the bandits reportedly attempted to gain entrance into the residence, but it seemed difficult and set the house ablaze, while the said Rev. Father was burnt to death.”
He said a colleague of the Rev. Father identified as Father Collins was equally shot in the shoulder while trying to escape from the scene.
The PPRO said police tactical teams attached to Kaffin-Koro Division were immediately drafted to the scene, but the hoodlums had escaped before the arrival of the teams.
Abiodun said the body of Father Isaac was recovered while Father Collins was rushed to the hospital for treatment. He added that the commissioner of police, Niger State Command, CP Ogundele Ayodeji dispatched a reinforcement team to the area to apprehend the assailants.
LEADERSHIP recalls that Rev Father Achi was in charge of Madalla Parish when a bomb exploded on Christmas Day in 2011 and killed scores of worshippers.
In Katsina State, armed bandits in the early hours of Sunday, attacked New Life for All Church in Kankara local government area and kidnapped 25 persons.
The senior special assistant to governor Aminu Bello Masari on Christian Affairs, Rev. Ishaya Jurau, made the revelation while speaking with LEADERSHIP yesterday.
He said, “Bandits attacked New Life for All Church in Jan-Tsauni, Gidan Haruna in Kankara local government of Katsina State today (Sunday) around 10am.
“They abducted 25 worshippers and left the church pastor with injuries while they were conducting service this morning.”
According to him, security personnel in the state have heightened their effort to seek the release of the kidnapped victims. Findings revealed that some persons have already been freed from the abductors.
Meanwhile, the Katsina State police command has confirmed the attack in a statement issued by the spokesman Ambo Isah.
He said a distress call was received that terrorists in their numbers invaded Dantsauni village, Kankara LGA, shooting sporadically with AK 47 rifles and shot one Pastor Haruna on his hand and kidnapped five women who were preparing to go to the church for Sunday service.
“Divisional Police Officer (DPO) Kankara led a team of policemen to the village but before his arrival, the terrorists had already escaped with the victims. The injured pastor was evacuated to General Hospital, Kankara for treatment. Efforts are on with a view of arresting the hoodlums, please”, he said.