September 3, 2019

Slain Taraba priest: Tears overflow as Catholic community buries Fr Tanko

Taraba, Catholic

By Femi Bolaji

Tears flowed uncontrollably Tuesday, at Our Lady Queen Of Peace Cathedral, Jalingo, when the Catholic Community in Taraba state buried Fr David Tanko who was gruesomely murdered and burnt by gunmen last week.

The 42 years old cleric who was the presiding priest of St Peters Parish, Ahmadu, met his untimely death at Kpankufu village, between Kasuan Haske and Tortse, while returning from a peace meeting to resolve the ongoing feud between the Tiv and Jukuns in the state.

The Bishop of Catholic Diocese, Jalingo, Most Rev. Charles Hammawa, who presided over the mass for his final internment, described the deceased as a lover of peace who paid the supreme price with his life in the most inhuman way.

According to him, “we are only strengthened and comforted by our Christian faith of surrendering all things to God, our faith in the resurrection of the dead and life everlasting.

“Fr David was part of the peace efforts initiated by me the Bishop of the Diocese of Jalingo, Taraba,  to help in bringing an end to the fight between the Tiv and Jukun.

“He was a good man, a good priest, diligent, hard-working, amiable and peaceful. He never sets out to offend anyone and was also a prayerful person.

“He is the kind of person Nigeria needs to come out of the quagmire and mess we are in today. A person who will serve selflessly without any bias.

Also read: Tiv/Jukun crisis: 15 death recorded, as residents flee to Nasarawa, others

“I am convinced that he is already with God in heaven and interceding for us and for the end of hostilities, violence and unwanted killings.

“May his death signal the beginning of the end of all this ugly and despicable human acts.”

Speaking further, Bishop Hammawa charged government at all levels to be alive in their statutory responsibility of the protection of lives and properties.

He said, “the government has the resources, constitutional powers, the institutions and the machinery to stop this ugly trend.

“There should be an end to lip service and deceit especially when it concerns the security of lives and property.”

Taraba state Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Isaiah Jirapye said the death of Fr Tanko was a great loss to the church.

He said, ” CAN is also meeting with stakeholders of the Tiv and Jukun to ensure this crisis comes to an end.”