Catholic Priest in Nigeria Killed, Set Ablaze Inside His Vehicle

Fr. David Tanko
Credit: Aiuto alla Chiesa che Soffre ACS-Italia

Bandits have reportedly ambushed and killed a Catholic priest in Nigeria, setting him and the car he was driving ablaze, various media in the country have reported.

According to local media reports, Fr. David Tanko, who was serving at St. Peter’s Catholic Parish, Amadu, was on his way to Takum for a peace meeting with his fellow clergymen to discuss the crisis between Tiv and Jukun ethnic groups.

The Thursday, August 29 killing took place at Kufai Amadu in Taraba State in the north-eastern part of Nigeria within the territory of the Catholic diocese of Jalingo.

“We received the news of his death with shock. This is sad. The diocese is mourning,” the Local Ordinary of Jalingo diocese, Bishop Charles Hammawa has been quoted as saying.

“We have been preaching peace and making efforts to bring both parties in the crisis in the area to a roundtable discussion,” local media have quoted the Bishop as saying.

The Chairman of Taraba State Council, Shiban Tikari has confirmed the killing of Fr. Tanko, revealing to local media that Tiv militias carried out the attack.

“Our basic concern now is to give him (Fr. Tanko) a befitting burial,” Bishop Hammawa has told local media adding, “We don’t want any group to go on reprisal. Going on reprisal will only worsen the situation.”

The Bishop announced Vigil Mass for the late priest on Monday, September 2 and burial the following day at the diocesan cemetery in Jalingo.

ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.

Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa
[email protected]