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Angry Niger residents burn police station over murder of Catholic priest

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Angry residents of Kafin-koro in Paikoro Local Government Area of Niger State, have burnt down a Divisional police station following the burning to death of a Catholic priest over the weekend.

A resident of Kafin Koro, who identified himself simply as Jonathan, told newsmen that the incident began when some women comprising Evangelical Church Winning All and Catholic women groups converged on the premises of the burnt Parish at 7 am on Tuesday to offer prayers against those who burnt the Catholic priest.

He said: “As the women were praying, some policemen arrived at the venue saying they were a detachment from the Kafin-koro Police Division drafted to the church to provide protection for them.

“The women rejected the protection and requested that the police should leave because the police didn’t provide protection for the dead priest neither did they show up on time when they were called,”

Jonathan said that when the police refused to leave the residence of the late priest, the women threw stones and sachet water at the police then the police left.

He said the village youths eventually joined the women to hold a peaceful protest but the police started shooting and a villager got killed by a bullet fired by the policemen.

“After the prayers, the women were joined by some youths to match peacefully through the major road of the town to the Police Division chanting anti-police slogans to the Police Division to register their grievances as they asked the police to leave the town since their presence is of no security value to the community.

“As the police were trying to disperse the crowd, the police began shooting into the air and one of the bullets hit a man who died immediately so that was how the protest turned violent,” he said

Jonathan said that the irate youths in the process set the police division office on fire.

In his response, the Niger State Police Public Relations Officer, Wasiu Abiodun, confirmed the incident.

“On 17/01/2023 at about 0900hrs, some angry youths of Kafin-Koro District, Paikoro LGA mobilized and protested in Kafin-koro town over the killing of the Parish Rev. Fr. Isaac.

“During the protest, the rampaging youths attacked and set Kaffin-Koro Divisional Hqtrs ablaze,” the statement read.

Bandits on Sunday invaded the Kafin Koro community around 1 am and shot sporadically while heading for the uphill residence of the priest, Isaac Achi, of SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Kaffi Koro.

Abiodun said, “The bandits reportedly attempted to gain entrance into the residence, but it seemed difficult and they set the house ablaze, while the said reverend father was burnt dead.

“A colleague of the reverend father identified as Father Collins was equally shot in the shoulder while trying to escape from the scene.

“The lifeless body of Father Isaac was recovered while Father Collins was rushed to the hospital for treatment.” Read more.

 

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