Bandits attack Catholic priest, set him, vehicle ablaze in Taraba


Justin Tyopuusu, Jalingo

Bandits have reportedly ambushed and killed a Catholic priest at Kufai Amadu in Takum Local Government Area of  Taraba State, setting him and his vehicle ablaze.

The cleric was said to be on his way to Takum for a peace meeting with his fellow clergymen on how to resolve the lingering Tiv, Jukun crisis when he was attacked and killed.

The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Jalingo, The Most Rev. Charles Hammawa on Thursday confirmed the killing of Rev. Fr. David Tanko by yet-to-be-identified persons in Taraba.

Hammawa in a telephone interview with our correspondent in Jalingo condemned the killing of the priest, describing his brutal killing as shocking.

“We received the news of his death with shock. This is sad. The diocese is mourning.

“We have been preaching peace and making efforts to bring both parties in the crisis in the area to a roundtable discussion.

“For a priest who has been preaching peace to be killed in this most gruesome manner is pathetic, to say the least. A priest belongs to all.

“For now, we are not pointing accusing finger at any group. The Police authority in the state have promised me that they are investigating the case, we pray that the perpetrators be brought to justice.

“Our basic concern now is to give him a befitting burial. We don’t want any group to go on reprisal. Going on reprisal will only worsen the situation,” he said.

Hammawa announced that wake in honour of the priest will hold on Monday, while burial will take place on Tuesday next week at the Diocesean cemetery in Jalingo.

Our correspondent gathered that Rev. Fr. Tanko who was until his death a serving priest of St. Peter’s Catholic Parish Amadu was killed between Kasuan Haske and Tortsee on his way to Amadu from Takum.