One killed, police station burnt as protest erupts in Niger over murder of Catholic priest

Some angry residents protesting the killing Reverend Father Isaac Achi of St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Kafin Koro Deanery, Niger State, on Tuesday morning set ablaze the Kafin-koro police station in Paikoro local government area of the state.

Father Achi, it would be recalled, was murdered and burnt to ashes by terrorists who also abducted worshippers from his church.

Trouble was said to have started when some Christian women comprising ECWA and Catholic women group converged on the premises of the burnt Parish in Kafin Koro on Tuesday morning to offer prayers against those who carried out the gruesome murder, and for God to expose them including praying for the repose of the death of the Reverend Father when a detachment of police from Kafin-koro police division stormed the place to offer protection for the praying congregation.

The congregation who came from all the villages within Kafin Koro district were said to have vehemently resisted the voluntary offer of protection from the police whom they accused of not doing anything to rescue the late the priest.

The congregation, therefore, asked the police to leave in protest, hurling stones and sachet water at them.

It was gathered that the police however, retreated to their station but shortly after the prayers by the congregation, they were said to have marched in a peaceful protest through the major road of the town chanting anti-police slogans to the Police Division to register their grievances over the inability of the police to safe Reverend Achi from the hands of his murderers despite several distress calls by the deceased and later his younger brother, Paul Sikiti.

It was at this point that the police were said to have opened fire and shot a middle-aged man who died on the spot and this resulted in the peaceful protest turning into violent.

In the ensuing violent confrontation with the police, some unidentified people among the protesters were said to have set the police station on fire and burnt the entire building down asking the police to leave the town since their presence has no security meaning to the community.

Recall that before the gruesome murder of the late Reverend Achi, Kafin Koro and its environs have come under severe attacks from gunmen, leading to the killing of a number of people while scores were abducted and ransom running to millions of naira paid to the abductors.

Both the government and are yet to issue a statement on this latest development.

Meanwhile the Catholic Diocese of Minna, Niger state has announced the burial arrangements of the late Reverend Father Achi.

In a statement in Minna on Tuesday and signed by Very Reverend Father Amanchukwu Emeka, Chancellor of the Diocese indicates that Thursday, the 19th has been slated for the wake-keep mass, while Friday is being scheduled for the funeral mass and final interment at the St. Micheal Catholic Cathedral in Minna, the Niger state capital.

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