Herdsmen Shoot Catholic Priest, Beat Others In Taraba [Update]
Suspected Fulani herdsmen have, on Monday morning, attacked a Catholic seminary school in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, leaving behind a tale of woes and sorrow.
The Director of Caritas Nigeria, an agency of the Catholic Church, Rev. Fr. Evaristus Bassey, revealed this in a WhatsApp message.
Two Catholic priests were attacked at the school premises during the incident. Both were beaten while one was shot in the leg.
Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Atsue sent the following message after the attack:
“With permission from my Bishop, Most Rev. Charles Hammawa of Jalingo Diocese, I Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Atsue (the Rector) want to announce and inform Nigerians and the international community that our diocesan Sacred Heart Minor Seminary was attacked in the early hours of this morning 28/05/2018 at about 12:30am by sophisticated armed Fulani Herdsmen (at least we heard their conversation).
“They shot sporadically at the Rector’s residence, broke window glasses in the process, (littered live bullets were collected by police) windscreen of one of the vehicles belonging to one of the priests.
“They shot and injured one of the priests Rev. Fr. Cornelius kobah on the leg, beat up Fr. Stephen Bakari.
“From their conversation we were able to understand that their grievances against us is that the security men in the Seminary have been challenging their decision to graze right inside the Seminary: around the classes, football field, laundry, etc.
“They said even inside the church if they see grass their cows will graze.
“Normalcy has temporarily been restored thanks to the prompt response from the Nigerian Police, Army, Civil Defense and local vigilantee.
“All our students are complete, none is missing.
“Two of them, who were showing them the way to the Father’s house, suffered injuries from the sticks of the herdsmen.
“I had a meeting with the officials of the Parents Teachers Association PTA and the bishop has equally approved one week break for the seminarians to enable them manage trauma for a while and to show themselves to their parents that they were safe.
“For now this is the situation. Let us continue to pray for and work for peace in Nigeria.”
Reports show that during the attack, some students were also injured and many cars were destroyed.
The wounded are reportedly receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre, Jalingo.
Commenting on the attack, Rev. Bassey 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.”
Recently, an activist group, OurMumuDonDo had petitioned the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister for Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, to pressure President Muhammadu Buhari To proscribe and designate those killer herdsmen as terrorists.
Speaking during the visit at the Federal Ministry of Justice to demand the proscription and designation, one of the leaders of the group, ace musician cum activist, Charles Oputa, a.k.a Charly Boy, urged the AGF to declare the group as a common enemy of Nigerians.
“We are extremely concerned that the survival of Nigeria is currently being threatened by these killer herdsmen, as innocent Nigerians are being slaughtered in different parts of the country on daily basis.
“In 2018 alone, hundreds of innocent Nigerians were cut down by this group, and hundreds of communities are affected by the wanton destruction of human lives and properties.
“We, therefore, urge the Ministry of Justice, the nation’s highest custodian of law, to immediately take firm action towards getting Federal Government to proscribe and designate the killer herdsmen a terrorist group in Nigeria,” he stated.
Also, last week, Catholic faithfuls protested against the killing of two Priests and 15 parishioners by Fulani terrorist herdsmen in Abuja the Federal Capital Territory.