Catholic priest burnt by bandits buried amidst tears in Niger


The remains of Reverend Father Isaac Achi of St. Peters and Paul Catholic Church in Kafin-Koro, Paikoro Local Government Area of Niger State, who was burnt to death by gunmen, have been buried at the St Michael Catholic Cemetery in Bosso, Local Government Areas of the state.

Over 500 Catholic priests from within and outside Nigeria thronged the St Michael’s Catholic Cathedral Church Minna to bid farewell to the late cleric in overcrowded final funeral rites.

The priest was set ablaze in his residence when the bandits could not gain access to the parish house last Sunday, while his assistant, Fr. Collins was shot while trying to escape.

Reverend Father Achi was the CAN coordinator of Paikoro Local Government Area, and the Dean and Parish Priest of St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church Kaffin-Koro in Minna Diocese.

Speaking during the funeral service, the Dean of the Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA), Catholic University, Port Harcourt, Very Reverend Father Samuel Gwimi described the gruesome murder of Fr. Achi as shocking to him and other priests.

According to him: “We are still looking for answers and explanations as to why he was killed, but we have also consoled ourselves in the Lord knowing the slain priest is resting in the bosom of God.”

Gwimi called on other priests and Christians to immortalize Rev. Achi by exhibiting his character of generosity and seeker of truth and peace.

“Father Achi has touched every one of us in one way or the other. His generosity to individuals and groups cannot be quantified, and that is why his death is painful to us all. The separation from him is painful because of the touch and impact he has had in our lives.”

He also appealed to political leaders and security agents in the nation to be more proactive about the issues of security to stop future occurrences from happening.

“Father Achi fought a good fight of faith and finished the race and is already sitting peacefully with God,” the cleric added.

Also, the Bishop of Minna, Bishop Martin Igwemezie Uzoukwu described Father Achi as a courageous and peace-loving man who stood for peace and justice saying that he will be greatly missed by all.

Uzoukwu then called on the government to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book.

Similarly, the Niger State chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Most Reverend Bulus Dauda Yohanna disclosed that Fr. Achi was a person who was prepared to proffer solutions to problems and was very generous to everyone.

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