LAGOS, Nigeria (CNS) — Bishop Charles Hammawa of Jalingo expressed shock at the killing of a priest who had been working for peace in eastern Nigeria.
Father David Tanko, a parish priest in Taraba state, was ambushed and killed while traveling to a meeting to help resolve local ethnic conflicts. Police were investigating the incident.
He was the second priest murdered in August. Earlier, Father Paul Offu of southern Nigeria’s Diocese of Enugu was killed by suspected hoodlums.
Bishop Hammawa said his diocese was in mourning, but church officials were not assigning blame. Police were investigating the case.
“We have been preaching peace and making efforts to bring the parties that were enmeshed in crisis in the area together for a roundtable discussion,” he said. “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.
“We pray that the perpetrators will be brought to justice,” he said, noting that reprisals would “only worsen the situation.”
A wake in honor of the priest was scheduled Sept. 2, with burial the following day.
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