Monday, 28 May 2018

Herdsmen attack Catholic seminary, shoot reverend father, beat others

Barely a week after priests and parishioners killed by armed Fulani herdsmen were buried in the Catholic Diocese of Makurdi, with the Catholic faithfuls in Nigeria embarking on a protest walk against the killings of Christians in Nigeria, Another Catholic priest, Rev Fr Cornelius Koba narrowly escaped death on Sunday night with gunshot injuries as armed herdsmen attacked the Sacred Heart Minor Seminary, Jalingo.

 A report has its that two Catholic priests were beaten with one shot in the leg when gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen attacked a minor seminary in Jalingo, Taraba State capital, the Punch reports.

During the attack, some students were injured and many cars destroyed, even as those wounded were said to be receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre, Jalingo.

The Director of Caritas Nigeria, an agency of the Catholic Church, Rev. Fr. Evaristus Bassey, revealed this in a WhatsApp message.

He said, "Please Frs, pray for us. Our minor seminary in Jalingo has just been attacked by the Fulani, some students are injured, some cars destroyed, two priests beaten and one shot on the leg. They are currently receiving treatment at FMC."

State Police Public Relations Officer ASP David Misal confirmed the attack in a phone interview with Daily Sun.

Speaking on the attack, the Catholic Bishop of Jalingo Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Charles Hammawa, described the attack on the Seminary and the targeting of priests as regrettable, urging the government to be more serious in handling security issues in the country.

"It is regrettable that as a church we are only modeling the children to be good citizens of the country, but we are now coming under unprovoked attacks," he said.

"We thank God no life was lost in the incident, though my priest, Rev. Fr. Cornelius Koba, was shot in the leg. This is one attack too many. Fr. Koba had only told the Fulani herdsmen to stop grazing on the school premises and they came after him in the dead of the night.

"For the Fulani herdsmen to attack us in Jalingo, it is an indication that our security situation in this country has become extremely bad.

"The primary responsibility of government is the protection of lives and property and we will continue to call on government to sit up," he said.

The bishop explained that all the students that ran into the bush for safety during the attack which happened around 1 a.m. Monday have all returned.


The Sun.