January 29, 2023

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Tension in Enugu as Catholic priests protest killing of colleague by Fulani herdsmen  * Say Ugwuanyi too weak to defend citizens  *Order herdsmen to quit 

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Tension in Enugu as Catholic priests protest killing of colleague by Fulani herdsmen
* Say Ugwuanyi too weak to defend citizens
*Order herdsmen to quit

From Maurice Okafor, Enugu.

Catholic priests in Enugu, Friday took to the streets to protest the gruesome murder of their colleagues by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
Piqued by the worsening security situation in the coal city including  abduction of men of God, the priests numbering over 200 locked down the metropolis demanding immediate end to the menace.
The priests expressed their grievances over the brutal murder of Rev. Fr. Paul Offu, on Thursday evening,August 1st by yet to be identified  gunmen, suspected to be

armed herdsmen while he was traveling along Ihe-Agbudu community road in Awgu Local Government Area of the state.

Catholic priest Offu murdered by Fulani herdsmen in Enugu
The priests were also saddened over the shooting of one of their colleagues a few days ago at Nkanu East axis of the state,who narrowly escaped death and is still receiving treatment at Annunciation hospital,Emene Enugu. They also expressed worry over the abduction and killing of another of their colleague from Ezeagu parish after collecting ransom, a few months ago. The gruesome killings amidst claims of  effective security apparatus in the state informed the reason for their protests.

The expressed dissatisfaction over the inability of the state government to safeguard the lives of citizens.

Shouts of “There is no security in Enugu State “, “Governor must wake up, ” “Gburugburu wake up on security matters “, rented the air as the priests marched through major streets making their way towards Lion Building.

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The Catholic priests who wore white official cassocks during the protests displayed  placards with the various inscriptions; “Enough is

Enough’’, “Catholic Priests are Target of Hoodlums’’,  “We Cannot be
Living in Fear’’, “Government Must Address Security Challenge in

Enugu’’ and “We Are Not Happy with Government’’.

Briefing news men, the Catholic Bishop of Enugu, Most Rev. Callistus Onaga, said that the protest was to register the displeasure of the diocese over the incessant attacks on
Catholic priests by hoodlums in the state, which had lasted for seven
years now.

Onaga said that the Catholic priests were simply demanding for more

security in the state; adding that “if there are crop of bad herdsmen
in the state they should be fished out and we will continue to live in
peace with the good ones’’.

The bishop, however, noted that the attack had become unbearable as

the diocese lost a priest in March, who was killed by suspected armed
herdsmen.

He said that two weeks ago, another priest was shot in the state and

“he is still receiving intensive medical attention as we speak’’.

“I am sorrowful and utterly disappointed on the security in the

state. This year alone, we [diocese] have suffered some casualties.
“While we get worried when our priests are attacked is that it shows
the level of insecurity other Nigerians face daily.

“Our priests are very much respected and honoured by the people

[locals], so if these things can happen to them, what happens to the
flocks [the people they shepherd].

“We were shocked to see a priest that joined in our meeting

yesterday afternoonin this Bishop house very healthy and sound, being reported
to have died.
“Everybody is so mad; because it is becoming too constant especially
within the past six or seven years now; we have suffered serious
kidnapping of our priests.

“It is becoming too bad. In 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 our priests

were kidnappedat various locations in the state.

“Only in 2017, we were giving some breathing space. It continued in

2018 and this year, 2019; it is worst as we have suffered the death of
a priest in March this year and now another issue,’’ he lamented.

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Meanwhile the Enugu state police command has disclosed the intention of the state police command to commence air surveillance of forests in the state as a strategy of checkmating  increasing high rate of insecurity in the state.

The Enugu state Police Commissioner, Suleiman Balarabe dropped this hints  after an emergency security meeting held at the state government house on Friday evening,August 2,over the killing of a catholic priest by yet to be identified gunmen.

He stated, “The Enugu state government has condemned in totality the gruesome

murder of Rev. Fr. Paul Offu, by yet to be identified gunmen.

 “Enugu State Government has resolved to carryout air surveillance in all forests that these dastardly acts incidences are taking place”, he said.

He said immediately after the air surveillance, the security agencies
will embark on rigorous joint operations as from Monday 5th of August
2019. He stated that the security architecture around those areas
will be reviewed with immediate effect.

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The Enugu State Commissioner of police who read the communiqué issued
at the end of the meeting, also announced that the state government
has also observed that there is proliferation of small and light
weapons in the hands of people that are not suppose to possess arms.

He said to that effect, the state government has set up a committee
comprising security agencies, local government chairmen to mop up
these illegal weapons that are in the hands of the people illegally.

According to the commissioner, the committee has been given three
days within which to submit same after which, people found to be in
possession of weapons illegally will be dealt with in accordance with
the law.

He also disclosed that Enugu state has resolved to employ the
services of forests guards as well strengthen neighborhood watch and
assured that the state command and other security agencies have
resolved to fish out the criminals with immediate effect.

Also speaking the Archbishop on Enugu Diocese, his Grace, Emmanuel
Chukwuma condoned with the Catholic Church over the killing one of its
priests, stating that Enugu State is safe and those they very much

behind the state governor..

Steve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email stevemanofgod2000@yahoo.com; wawanewsglobal@gmail.com Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.

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