…As 2 priests escape death – CAN
by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Gunmen suspected to be bandits have reportedly invaded a Catholic Church in Kaduna, killing a Seminarian, while two Catholic priests targeted in the attack narrowly escaped death.
According to statement signed by Chairman Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna State Chapter, Rev. John Joseph Hayab, the incident occurred Thursday, 7th September 2023, at Fadan Kamantan community in Kafanchan, Zangon Kataf LGA in Southern part of Kaduna State.
CAN, in a statement made available on Friday, lamented that the attack, which led to the setting ablaze of an entire Rectory and burning to death of the Seminarian, occurred wthin the Kaduna-Kafanchan major highway with a military check-point not far from the Parish.
CAN also stated that the Parish Priest’s residence, the Priest, Very, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Okolo, who also doubles as the Chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan, and his Assistant, were the target of the gunmen.
“Our hearts are filled with pains at the wake of today, 8 September, 2023, with the news in our land and against our people at Fadan Kamatan Parish of the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan, Zangon Kataf LGA of Kaduna State.
“It is no longer news that armed men invaded a Catholic Church Parish Headquarters located at Fadan Kamantan community, and the criminals targeted the Parish Priest’s residence.
“Luckily, the Parish Priest, Very, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Okolo, who also doubles as the Chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan, and his assistant were able to escape out of the house before the criminals set the entire Rectory ablaze, burning to death a Seminarian, Bro. Naam Ngofe Danladi, who is just about completing his training into the Catholic Priesthood.
“What is disheartening about this particular attack is the fact that the place of attack is just by the Kaduna-Kafanchan major highway – with a military check-point not far from the Parish.
“The Parish is located at the heart of Kamantan Town, and the attack was carried out at about 8:00pm. This causes us to wonder some more – where is the hope; how much more terrible could the situation get?,” CAN stated.
CAN expressed appreciation for the willingness of the present administration to proffer practical, real and lasting solution to the security challenge in Kaduna State, as made visible by the ongoing recruitment process of over 7,000 men and women into the Kaduna State Vigilante Services (KADVIS).
It, however, stated that in the light of sharing in the faith of the perceived good will of the present administration in Kaduna State, it invites the governor of Kaduna State and all relevant stakeholders to immediately swing into action and ensure that those responsible for the Kamatan Evil Night are apprehended and made to face the law.
“It is disappointing that this kind of unholy activity could be recorded at the heart of Fadan Kamantan community and the criminals will operate unchallenged. It is a slap to the security forces within that jurisdiction; it is a slap to the religious leaders, traditional and community leaders.
“The position of CAN Kaduna State Chapter has always been that we as citizens must complement government in her primary responsibility of saving our lives and properties by proactively building a community security system that prevents any form of invading force into our community. Sadly, we are still here.
“We reiterate again here, that leaders at all levels in southern Kaduna and Kaduna State must wake up to this call and be responsible for the protection of the communities where they live and lead. We cannot continue like this. No; it is unacceptable, and we all must wake up to our responsibilities,” it added.
“CAN Kaduna State Chapter executive and indeed all Christians in Kaduna State sincerely sympathize with the chief shepherd and local ordinary of Kafanchan Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Julius Kundi, the Parish Priest and Parishioners of Kamantan Parish, the Kurama Community of Bro. Naam Ngofe Danladi, the leaders and the good people of Zangon Kataf LGA and Fadan Kamantan community over this unfortunate incident. We pray that the good Lord will heal our land and bring this menace to an end.”