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How Catholic Priests Protested Colleague’s death Killed By Herdsmen, Rolled On Their Cassock White
Over 200 Catholic priests within the Catholic Diocese of Enugu hot the streets of Enugu State earlier on Friday to protest incessant killings of their colleague, Rev. Fr. Paul Offu, in Enugu state on Friday, August 2.
The deceased was said be traveling on Ihe-Agbudu Road in Awgu local government area of the state in the evening of Thursday, Aug. 1 before being intersected and killed by suspected armed Fulani Herdsmen.
killed by yet to be identified gunmen, suspected to be armed herdsmen, while
The Catholic priests, numbering over 200, marched to government house to express their anger.
who marched peacefully, passed through major roads within Enugu metropolis on their white official cassock.
The priests, in a viral pictures, wore white official cassock, held placards with the various inscriptions such as: “Government Must Address Security Challenge in Enugu’’ and “We Are Not Happy with Government’’. “Enough is Enough’’, “Catholic Priests are Targets of Hoodlums’’, “We Cannot be Living in Fear’’,
While speaking on the ugly development with newsmen, the Catholic Bishop of Enugu, Most Rev. Callistus Onaga, said that the protest was to register the displeasure of the diocese at the incessant attacks on Catholic priests by hoodlums in the state, which had lasted for seven years now.
He also noted that the Catholic priests were simply demanding for more security in the state adding that “if there are crop of bad herdsmen in the state they should be fished out and we will continue to live in peace with the good ones’’.
He, however, stressed that the attack had become unbearable as the diocese also lost a priest in March, who was killed same suspected armed herdsmen.
He said that two weeks ago, another priest was shot in the state and “he is still receiving intensive medical attention as we speak’’.
“I am sorrowful and utterly disappointed on the security in the state. This year alone, we (diocese) have suffered some casualties,’’ he lamented.
Priests, mothers, fathers, children declare “No Ruga In Biafra Land”, Protest to Ebonyi Govt House.
BREAKING: Diocese Confirm Herdsmen Attack On Priest In Enugu,
Meanwhile, Scabnews 24 earlier reported attack attack at Numeh and neighbouring communities in Nkanu East Local government of Enugu State, on 18 July 2019 on Rev. Fr. Ikechukwu Ilo by Fulani herdsmen along Numeh- Nenwe road.
According to the Catholic Diocese of Enugu confirmed, Father Ilo, a priest in charge of St. Patrick Church at Numeh, was reportedly attacked alongside one Mrs Chika Egbo on Wednesday evening. They were said to have sustained gunshot wounds.
Confirming the attack on the priest, the Director of Communication, Catholic Diocese of Enugu, Rev. Fr. Benjamin Achi, told SUNDAY PUNCH that the attack was carried out by Fulani herdsmen.
The Catholic Church spokesman said Fr. Ilo was driving to his parish when suddenly two Fulani herdsmen carrying AK 47 rifles appeared from the bush.
They reportedly tried to stop him, but when they could not, they opened fire on his vehicle. He was said to have been shot in the leg and the other person sustained gunshot wounds.
He quoted Fr Ilo as saying, “As we drove towards the village, the Fulani killer herdsmen, who spoke both in English and Fulani languages, opened fire, trying to force us to stop. Seeing that we were not ready to cave in to their intimidation, they started raining bullets on our vehicle at close range and in the process, shot me at my ankle and shoulder while the other victim was shot in her leg and waist.”
He expressed gratitude to God that the priest was not killed, saying he was immediately rushed to Annunciation Specialist Hospital, Emene for treatment.
The police also confirmed the attack on the clergyman, adding that investigations into the matter had commenced to ascertain those behind the attack and their motive.
A statement by the Police Public Relations Officer, Ebere Amaraizu, on Friday, which confirmed the report, however, denied that the attack was by Fulani herdsmen.
Amaraizu said, “The Enugu State command of the Nigeria Police Force through its operatives are investigating the attack by robbers on a priest identified as Rev. Fr. Ikechukwu Ilo of St. Patrick Parish, Numeh on Wednesday July 18, 2019, along Numeh axis of Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State by unidentified persons, contrary to speculations of attack by a terrorist group.”