Bandits Attack Reverend Father In Taraba, Kill And Set Him Ablaze

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From killing pastor Jeremiah Omolara of the Living Faith Church in Kaduna and kidnapping his wife, to kidnapping five RCCG pastors along the Ijebu-Ode axis, Ogun State, while travelling for the Church’s annual Holy Ghost Convention, to killing Rev. Paul Offu, a Catholic priest in Enugu State, and abducting Anuri Maduwuike, wife of the Anglican Bishop of Ikeduru Diocese, and members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) sent to deliver ransom to kidnappers, among several untold stories, Nigerian pastors have recently been victims of insecurity and Christian persecutions which have seen so much increase in the Country recently.

Rev. Father David Tanko
Rev. Father David Tanko

Another Catholic priest has been killed at Kufai Amadu in Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State, by bandits who also set him and his vehicle ablaze.

The cleric identified as Reverend Father David Tanko, 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 chairman of the council, Shiban Tikari disclosed that after killing him, the attackers set him and his car on fire.

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Tikari identified the deceased as Reverend Father David Tanko, who hails from Wukari local government area of the state. He alleged that the attack was carried out by Tiv militias.

He also blamed several other attacks that have claimed lives and property in southern Taraba on the Tiv militias, stressing that the reason for the attacks is still unknown.

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, condemned the killing of the priest, describing his brutal killing as shocking.

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“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.

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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.

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.

Nigeria ranks 12th on Open Doors 2019 World Watch list of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.

Pray for the pastors and Christians in Nigeria as they fight through this trying times, that their faith be not discouraged in the face of these persecutions.

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