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Bishop condemns attack on Catholic Seminary in Taraba

Justin Tyopuusu Jalingo

The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Jalingo,  The Most Rev. Dr. Charles Hammawa Hammawa on Monday condemned the attack on Secret Heart Minor Seminary Jalingo,  where a priest was badly wounded with gun shot.

Hammawa who described the attack as regrettable urged government to be more serious in handling security issues in the country.

“It is regrettable that as a church,  we are only modeling the children to be good citizens of the country,  but we are now being attacked unprovoked.

“We thank God no life was lost in the incident, though my priest Rev. Fr. Cornelius Koba was shot in the leg. This is one attack too many. Fr. Koba had only told the Fulani herdsmen to stop grazing on the school premises and they came after him in the dead of the night.

“For the Fulani herdsmen to attack us in Jalingo,  is an indication that our security situation in this country has become extremely bad.

“The primary responsibility of government is the protection of lives and property and we will continue to call on government to sit up,” he said.

The Bishop explained that all the students that ran into the bush for safety during the attack which happened around 1:am today have all returned.

He noted that the school has been closed temporarily for one week to enable the children go home and overcome the trauma before they can continue studies.

Rev Fr. Koba who was shot in the leg during the attack told journalists that the attackers stormed the Seminary in their numbers and head to his room where he was attacked.

“They also shot and brew the windscreen of my car. One of them opened fire at my window and destroyed my television set and other properties.

“My offense is that I often ask them to stop invading our school for grazing and stop cutting down our trees to feed their cows.

“They came around 1:am and got a student whom they ordered to take them to my room. I came out and met them all armed numbering over five. As soon I came out one of them said see him, kill him but one of them objected.

“They struck me with their sticks and and when I fell down, one of them shot me in the leg and they left,” he said.

The attack on the Minor Seminary in Taraba is coming less than a week after the mass burial of two  Catholic Priests and 17 others in Benue State.

Police Public Relations officer ASP. David Missal confirmed the attack, saying “we are aware of the attack.”

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