CAN Mourns Slain Catholic Priest, Baptist Pastor

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    Paul Obi in Abuja

    The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Wednesday mourned a Catholic Priest, Rev. Fr Michael Akawu of Abuja Archdiocese, and Rev. Hosea Akuchi of Nigerian Baptist Convention in Rigassa, Kaduna State who were killed by unknown gunmen.

    Akawu was the first Abuja indigenous Catholic priest and was ordained last year and posted as Assistant Parish Priest to Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Parish, Dobi, Gwagwalada Area Council.

    According to CAN President, Rev. Supo Ayokunle, “the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) commiserates with the leaderships of the Roman Catholic Church and the Nigerian Baptist Convention over the demise of two of their clerics who were killed by some unknown gunmen in Abuja and Kaduna State.

    “The late Priest, Rev. Fr Michael Akawu, who was reportedly shot dead by yet to be identified gunmen in Gwagwalada, Abuja, while shopping Saturday evening.

    “Few hours later, on Sunday, 21st August, 2018, at about 1.00am, according to informed sources, some hoodlums suspected to be Fulani terrorists attacked Nasara Baptist Church in Guguwa near Rigasa in Kaduna shot Rev. Hosea Akuchi dead and took away his wife Talatu Akuchi. Her whereabouts remain unknown and the criminals have demanded for the sum of N5m (Five Million Naira) for her release.”

    Ayokunle explained that “Akawu, who was ordained priest on February 4, 2017 by the Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onayeikan, was the first FCT indigenous Catholic priest to be ordained. CAN prays to God to comfort and console the Roman Catholic Church in Nigeria, the Nigerian Baptist Convention, the churches where they were serving and their immediate families.

    “We call on the Nigeria Police and other relevant security agencies to do whatever it takes to bring the culprits to book and rescue the widow of the late Rev Akuchi as soon as practicable.

    “We once again call on our security agencies to be more pro-active and invest more on intelligence gathering with a view to preventing many of these crimes that are being committed under their watch undetected.

    “CAN also notes with pain and disappointment the state of insecurity in the country, nowhere is safe and secured, as terrorists, rampaging Fulani herdsmen, killer bandits, armed robbers, kidnappers and other hoodlums are operating unchecked while our security agencies seemed busy with elections, forgetting that leaders are elected to rule over the living.”

    He stated that, “Nigeria’s security situation is reprehensible, unacceptable and condemnable. We once again call on President Muhammadu Buhari to rejig the security system of the country. Let there be a visible improvement in our security system, as the governed are not satisfied with their performances in ensuring security of lives and property.”

    “We once again call on the Police to arrest all assailants that are responsible for these dastardly acts. We don’t need foreign countries to tell us that it is the failure to arrest these hoodlums amidst us that has emboldened them to perpetrate their atrocities. Enough of these senseless killings in the country,” Ayokunle stressed.