Armed bandits have attacked and burned down St. Raphael Catholic Church, Fadan Kamatan, in Kafanchan, Kaduna State, Killing a seminarian.
The attackers, according to media reports, stormed the Parish house at about 8 p.m. on Thursday, September 7, 2023.
The church and Paris house, including vehicles, were set ablaze by the assailants.
Rev. John Hayab, Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, confirmed the occurrence, adding that two priests allegedly escaped, but seminarian Naam Danladi was burned alive in the fire.
The parish house was burned to the ground
The seminarian was about to complete his training in the Catholic priesthood.
The Chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan, Very Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Okolo, and his assistant escaped during the attack.
A statement from the Christian Association of Nigeria condemned the attack and “called on the state government and relevant stakeholders to swing into action and ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book.”
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has termed the burning of Catholic Seminarian alive by bandits satanic.
A letter from the from Femi Oyelola, Kaduna reads:
“It is no longer news that armed men invaded a Catholic Church Parish Headquarters located at Fadan Kamantan community and the criminals targeted the Parish Priest’s residence, lucky the Parish Priest, Very Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Okolo, who also doubles as the Chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan, and his assistant were able to escape out of the house before the criminals set the entire Rectory ablaze burning to death a Seminarian Bro. Naam Ngofe Danladi who is just about completing his training into the Catholic Priesthood.
“What is disheartening about this particular attack is the fact that the place of attack is just by the Kaduna – Kafanchan Major highway with a Military check point not far from the Parish.
“The Parish is located at the heart of Kamantan town and the attack was carried out at about 8:00pm. This caused us to wonder some more, where is the hope, how much more terrible could the situation get.
“We appreciate the willingness of the present administration to proffer practical, real and lasting solution to the security challenge in Kaduna State as made visible by the ongoing recruitment process of over 7,000 men and women into the Kaduna State Vigilante Services (KADVIS).
“In the light of sharing in the faith of the perceived good will of the present administration in Kaduna State, we invite the Governor of Kaduna State and all relevant stakeholders to immediately swing into action and ensure that those responsible for the Kamatan Evil Night are apprehended and made to face the law.
“Security is everyone’s business, it is disappointing that this kind of unholy activity could be recorded in the heart of Fadan Kamantan community and the criminals will operate unchallenged. It is a slap to the security forces within that jurisdiction, it is a slap to the religious leaders, traditional leaders, and community leaders.
“The position of CAN Kaduna State Chapter has always been that we as citizens must complement the government in its Primary responsibility of saving our lives and properties by proactively building a community security system that prevents any form of invading force from entering our community, sadly, we are still here.
“We reiterate again here, that leaders at all levels in southern Kaduna and Kaduna State must wake up to this call and be responsible for the protection of the communities where they live and lead.
“ We cannot continue like this, no it is unacceptable, and we all must wake up to our responsibilities.
“The Executive of the Christian Association of Nigeria CAN Kaduna State Chapter and indeed all Christians in Kaduna State sincerely sympathise with the chief shepherd and local ordinary of Kafanchan Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Julius Kundi, the Parish Priest and Parishioners of Kamatan Parish, the Kurama Community of Bro. Naam Ngofe Danladi, the leaders and the good people of the Zangon Kataf LGA and Fadan Kamantan community over this unfortunate incident. We pray that the good Lord will heal our land and bring this menace to an end.”
The development comes a week after worshippers were gunned down in a mosque in Saya-Saya village in Ikara Local Government Area of Kaduna State