By Elohor Igbru/Abuja
The terrorists came in the night, with murder in their hearts. Around 1am on Sunday morning in Kafin Koro community, Paikoro, local government area of Niger state, terrorists whom the Nigerian government has labelled as bandits visited the house of the parish priest of SS Peter and Paul Catholic church and set his house on fire.
Rev. Isaac Achi was inside his house as the terrorists tried unsuccessfully to gain access to the house and when that failed, they simply set the house on fire and waited to ensure it burned to the ground with the hapless priest inside.
A second priest living in the compound however escaped with gunshot wounds to his shoulder.
The Niger State police spokesperson Abiodun Wasiu confirmed the incident: “Unfortunately, the bandits reportedly attempted to gain entrance into the residence, which seemed difficult,” so they “set the house ablaze” and the Catholic priest burned to death, he said.
A resident, who identified himself only as Paul for security reasons, said the bandits divided themselves into two.
According to him, while some went to the Catholic priest’s official residence, others stayed in the town, shooting to stop any form of interference.
The Muhammadu Buhari administration while promising to stem the tide of insurgency, but rather there have been an escalation of the crisis while the government seemed to be clueless or unwilling to end the insecurity.
Sunday’s incident sparked international condemnation. In a statement, Antonio Tajani, the Italian foreign minister, called the attack “cowardly and inhuman,” according to the Associated Press.
Also the Niger state Gov. Abubakar Sani Bello said the killing signaled that no one was safe. “These terrorists have lost it and drastic action is needed to end this ongoing carnage,” he said.
Nigeria’s Christian Association has asked authorities to investigate and do more to protect civilians. “Enough of the attacks and wanton killings of innocent Nigerian citizens,” said Bulus Yohanna, the association’s chairman.