September 25, 2022

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Buhari, Christian leaders decry murder of Catholic priest

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Wednesday, said he was  “deeply disturbed” by the murder of a Catholic priest, John Cheitnum of the Kafanchan Catholic Diocese, four days after he was seized by gunmen.

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President again assured Nigerians that he is determined to crush terrorists whom he described as “enemies of humanity.”

The statement was titled ‘President Buhari condemns murder of catholic priest in Kaduna, calls it heinous and despicable.’

The PUNCH reports that the Cheitnum, who was abducted alongside another priest on Friday July 15, was found dead days later.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan announced that Cheitnum was murdered on the same night he was abducted and his already-decomposing corpse was discovered on Tuesday.

Reacting to the incident, Buhari said, “I am deeply disturbed by the murder of this revered religious figure by outlaws who seem to be bent on creating chaos and disorder in the country.”

He explained that the persistent attack on innocent people, including religious figures, by gunmen is a matter of grave concern for this administration, because security is one of the major issues of our campaign promises.

“Let me reassure Nigerians that my commitment to this issue is as firm as ever. I have always made it a duty to regularly summon security chiefs to discuss these challenges and the way forward.

“I’m not allowing the security chiefs to rest unless and until we find a very effective solution to this disturbing security situation. The security of all Nigerians remains our major priority and I assure Nigerians that we are determined to crush these enemies of humanity with all the resources at our disposal,” the President said.

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Also, the Southern Kaduna Christian Leaders Association has challenged the Federal Government and state government to investigate and put an end to what they termed “the continuous persecution of priests across the country.

The challenge was contained in a press statement signed by the association’s Chairman, Emmanuel Kure, while reacting to the news of the murder of Cheitnum.

Kure, who lamented on the rising cases of priests being kidnapped and, in some cases, killed by their abductors, even after receiving ransoms, also tasked security operatives to always be proactive in their response to crime and criminalities, instead of reactive.