“They dragged him to the bush but one of the assailants said kill him that the church would not do anything if they kidnapped him.”……
Catholic priests in Enugu State on Friday staged protests against the killing of one of their colleagues Reverend Fr. Paul Offu on Thursday night.
Fr. Offu, Parish Priest of St. James Greater Catholic Church was allegedly shot dead by suspected Fulani Herdsmen along Ihe in Awgu Local government area of the state.
The angry Catholic priests matched to the government house with placards, with a various inscription like “enough is enough”, “government should rise to defend Nigerians”, ” Fulani Herdsmen should go”.
They also matched through the major streets in the state capital to the police headquarters, chanting “God save Enugu people from murderous Fulani Herdsmen”, enough is enough, the government should do something and save us.”
Catholic Diocese of Enugu State had through it’s Twitter handle announced the killing of her priest.
The church wrote “with a deep sense of sorrow, the Catholic Diocese of Enugu announces the tragic death of Rev Fr Paul Offu who was shot dead on (1st August 2019) by some hoodlums suspected to be the notorious and murderous Fulani herdsmen, along Ihe-Agbudu Road in Awgu LGA.
“Fr. Offu hailed from Okpatu in Udi LGA of Enugu State and until his death, was the parish priest of St. James the Greater Parish, Ugbawka.
“May perpetual light shine upon his gentle and illustrious soul.”
Offu’s killing is coming barely five months after Rev. Fr. Clement Ugwu, Parish priest of St Mark Catholic Church, Obinofia Ndiuno in Ezeagu Local Government Area of the State was killed.
Fr. Ugwu’s who was kidnapped on March 20, 2019, was found dead in a bush decomposing after one week of intensive search by his parishioners.
Communication’s Director, Catholic Diocese of Enugu Reverend Fr. Benjamin Achi told The Punch in a telephone interview that the priest was killed by Fulani herdsmen while confirming the tragic incident.
Fr. Achi who decried the killing, said “that Fr. Offu was stopped by the murderous herdsmen while returning to his parish after a visit to priest friend along Ihe-Agbudu road in Awgu LGA.
“They dragged him to the bush but one of the assailants said kill him that the church would not do anything if they kidnapped him.”
While lamenting that Catholic priests were becoming target’s of attacks by Fulani herdsmen in the Enugu, Fr. Achi said that another priest, Rev. Fr. Paulinus Ikechukwu Ilo who was shot in the ankle by suspected Fulani Herdsmen along Numeh – Nenwe road in Nkanu East Local Government Area on July 18, 2019, were still in the hospital.
When the state Commissioner of police, Sulieman Balarabe was contacted on the telephone, said he will get back to our correspondent, that might have gotten details from the Area Commander.
Meanwhile, the police spokesperson, Ebere Amaraizu said in a text message sent to our correspondent that the police has commenced an investigation into the killing to fish out those behind it.