By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA —Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja said, yesterday, it was devastated by news of the gruesome killing of Fr. Michael Akawu by unknown gunmen in Gwagwalada, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Akawu was killed last weekend at a supermarket where he had gone to get some provisions for the rectory of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church, Dobi, where he worked as an Assistant Parish Priest.
Speaking to Vanguard in Abuja, Director of Social Communication in the Archdiocese, Fr. Patrick Alumuku, described Akawu’s demise as a blow below the belt to the growth of the local church in Abuja.
He said: “It is a very sad moment for us because Fr. Akawu was a sign of the growing local church in the FCT. He was the first indigenous priest of the local tribe here in the nation’s capital.”
He ruled out the possibility of a targeted attack on the slain priest, saying: “The church was made to understand that Fr. Akawu was not the only individual that was killed by the gunmen.”
On any detail of Akawu’s funeral arrangement, Alumuku said: “For now, we are really devastated. There are no detail of his burial yet.”
The story of Akawu’s death was first announced on Facebook by another Catholic priest, Omokwugbo Ojeifo, on Sunday.
Quoting a 16th century artist, Salvator Rosa, Ojeifo said the death of Akawu symbolised the futility of life on earth.
He wrote: “Those eight words always remind me of the futility of human life. As the Psalmist says, ‘Human life is a mere puff of wind, days as fleeting as a shadow’ (Ps 144:3-4). Placed on the scales, we are lighter than air (cf. Ps 62:9). We are like grass which springs up and blossoms in the morning but by evening already withers and fades (cf. Ps 90:9).
“This is our human story; this is the story of one of our young Abuja priest, Fr. Michael Akawu, the first indigene of Abuja to be ordained for our Archdiocese.
‘’He was shot dead yesterday evening by armed robbers at a supermarket in Gwagwalada where he went to buy some provisions for the parish rectory. Fr. Michael was ordained in 2017.”