Insecurity in Nigeria “has lasted for too long”: Priest at Funeral Mass of Colleague

Fr. Isaac Achi, a Nigerian Catholic priest, was murdered in Niger State on 15 January 2023. | Diocese of Minna

Insecurity in Nigeria has persisted for far too long, a Priest in the West African nation has lamented during the Funeral Mass of Fr. Isaac Achi, the Nigerian Catholic Priest who was murdered when Sts. Peter and Paul Kaffin Koro Parish of the Catholic Diocese of Minna was attacked on January 15 

In his homily during the January 20 celebration that was presided over by Bishop Martins Igwemezie Uzoukwu of Minna Diocese, Fr. Samuel Gwimi said the Nigerian government needs to be alert on security matters.

“The issue of insecurity in this country, associated with banditry, kidnapping, Boko Haram, herders, farmers conflict, unknown gunmen, and lots more, has lasted for too long,” Fr. Gwimi said in his homily that was published by the Catholic Pontifical and charity foundation, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) Ireland, on Tuesday, January 24

Fr. Gwimi said the activities of bandits in the Kaffin Koro area and many parts of Niger State “are part and parcel of the overall lack of security that cuts across the country.”  

The West African nation has been struggling with a wave of violence by armed gangs who frequently carry out killings and kidnappings for ransom.


Killed when his Parish was attacked during the early hours of January 15, Fr. Achi is one of the latest victims of the attacks that started in 2009 when the Boko Haram insurgency emerged allegedly with the aim of turning Africa’s most populous country into an Islamic state. 

In the homily during the January 20 celebration, Fr. Gwimi said the late Fr. Achi’s popularity and deeds in Kaffin Koro “could have caused the desire for his abduction or even killing.”

“He (Fr. Achi) has been the voice of counsel and encouragement to the entire people of Kaffin Koro in the face of attacks by bandits in the area. People called him, some went to him for counsel on all kinds of matters,” the Nigerian Catholic Priest said, adding that the slain Priest “was a thorn in the lives and activities of bandits around Kafin Koro.”

Fr. Gwimi continued, “The gallant soldier and apostle of Jesus Christ, the hero of Kaffin Koro community, must have engaged his attackers in a fierce battle and would not allow them to have their way.” 

As Fr. Achi denied the bandits access to where he was, Fr. Gwimi said, adding that the attackers “resorted to igniting flames on the house either to force him out or be killed.”

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“Weakened by the fierce battle and probably wounded if not already killed, Fr Achi would have been suffocated by the poisonous smoke and was finally consumed by the fire of his sacrifice to God. The Lord found Fr. Isaac Achi worthy of suffering with Jesus,” Fr. Gwimi said. 

The Priest called on the government to be more proactive when dealing with insecurity in Nigeria. 

“While we acknowledge efforts being made at guaranteeing the safety of all,” Fr. Gwimi said, “We urge government and security agencies to be proactive rather than reactive.” 

“When you ask for political power and people entrust it to you, you have to provide security and protection. Remember that any innocent blood that is shed cries to God for justice,” he said.

The Nigerian Catholic Priest added, “The provision of security is the responsibility of the government and security agencies. Government and security agencies are sentries of society. A sentry does not sleep. A sentry is on duty 24 hours to ensure the safety of society.”


Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.