Vatican News
Archive photograph of Catholic nuns at the gravesides of 17 worshippers and 2 priests killed by Fulani herdsmen in Benue State, Nigeria, in May 2018 Archive photograph of Catholic nuns at the gravesides of 17 worshippers and 2 priests killed by Fulani herdsmen in Benue State, Nigeria, in May 2018  (AFP or licensors)

Nigeria: Catholic priest shot dead in Enugu Diocese

The Catholic Diocese of Enugu in southern Nigeria announces the tragic killing of Father Paul Offu

By Linda Bordoni

Father Paul Offu was reportedly shot dead by unidentified gunmen on the evening of Thursday, 1 August.

A note from the Diocese said that Fr. Offu hailed from Okpatu in Enugu State and until his death, was the parish priest of St. James the Greater Parish, Ugbawka.

It said he was shot dead by suspected Fulani herdsmen, along Ihe-Agbudu Road in Awgu.

Fr Offu’s murder comes just five months after the killing of Fr Clement Ugwu, the parish priest of St Mark Catholic Church, also in Enugu State. Fr. Ugwu, who was kidnapped on March 20, was found dead in a bush decomposing after a one-week search by his parishioners.

In Nigeria, clashes between farmers and Fulani herdsmen have caused the death of hundreds of people and the displacement of many others.

Appeal for an end to hate speech

Father Matthew Hassan Kukah,  Bishop of Sokoto, has called for an end to "the blanket and continued hate speeches" against Fulani herdsmen on social media, which he says constitute a threat to the unity and peace of Nigeria.

Speaking at a seminar on 'Fake News and hate speech', Bishop Kukah recalled that hate speeches are known to have preceded any genocide experienced in any part of the world.

Warning that the country is on a very dangerous precipice, he called on the leaders of the country to help bring the situation under control and called on all Nigerians to be their brothers keepers and avoid ethno-religious profiling in dealing with each other.

The former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo, wrote an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, warning him of the risk of a “Rwandan-style genocide” in Nigeria if the government does not take immediate measures to stop the violence.

 

 

02 August 2019, 18:23