11 years after surviving Christmas Day bomb attack, Catholic priest burnt to death by terrorists


A CATHOLIC Priest, Isaac Achi, was burnt to death on January 15 after terrorists set fire to his parish rectory in Niger State.

Achi’s body was found among the charred parish building of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Kafin-Koro in Paikoro Local Government Area of Niger State, following an early morning attack by terrorists suspected to be Boko Haram fighters.

The Catholic Diocese of Minna, Niger State, which confirmed the development, said another priest, Collins Omeh, escaped the building but sustained gunshot wounds and is being treated in a hospital.

Here are a few things to know about the late priest

According to reports, Reverend Father Achi was ordained on January 7, 1995, becoming the first indigenous Catholic priest from Gbagyi/Koro land.

As a priest under the Minna Archdiocese of the Catholic Church, he was moved to different parishes. 

As at the time he was killed on Sunday, January 15, Achi was serving as the parish priest of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Kafin-Koro.

The late priest was also the chairman of the local branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

His many battles with death

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Achi was the parish priest of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, near Suleja, in Niger State, when the church was bombed on December 25, 2011, by Boko Haram terrorists.

The attack is popularly known as Christmas Day bomb blast.

The church in Madalla, a satellite town about 40 km (25 miles) from the centre of Nigeria’s capital Abuja, was packed when the bomb exploded.

The attack led to the death of 44 persons, many of whom were parishioners, and others also sustained injuries. 

One year after the incident, Achi conducted the requiem mass for victims of the attack and appealed to relatives and parishioners to learn to forgive all those who had hurt them. 

The clergyman also sustained a gunshot injury on his jaw when he went to bless a child during a naming ceremony. 

Gunmen were said to have invaded the house and started attacking persons when the priest reportedly stood up to confront them.

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He was flown abroad for treatment.

Also, Achi was kidnapped in February 2013, while serving as the Parish Priest of St Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla.

However, he was rescued after the Police tracked the kidnappers to Abuja.

About 11 years after the Christmas Day bomb attack, terrorists eventually killed Achi on January 15, 2023..


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