The late Akawu who was very popular with Catholic faithful in his parish was just 18 months in the priesthood
Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Catholic faithful in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), were thrown into mourning yesterday as the remains of a 31-year-old cleric, Rev Fr Michael Akawu killed by gunmen was laid to rest. Over 200 priests attended the requiem mass for the deceased who was the first indigenous priest of the Gbygegi tribe, the landlords of the FCT.
The slain catholic priest, of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Parish, Dobi village, Abuja, was gunned down by yet to be identified assailants at a shopping mall in Gwagwalada, Abuja.
His death came few months after two Catholic priests alongside 17 parishioners were killed by herdsmen during a morning mass in a Benue community.
Tears and pains were let loose when the remains of the late priest arrived Our Lady, Queen of Nigeria Catholic Church, Garki, Abuja, for funeral mass which was celebrated by Archbishop of Abuja Catholic Catholic diocese, Cardinal John Onaiyekan alongside many other catholic priests.
As expected, his immediate family members, parishioners, friends, classmates in the seminary and other well-wishers came in their numbers to pay their last respect to the late Rev. Fr. Akawu. The late Akawu who was very popular with Catholic faithful in his parish was just 18 months in the priesthood.
Cardinal Onayeikan, in his message, said the slain priest was a great asset to the Catholic Church and would be missed greatly. He was happy that he served God and humanity till death came calling.
The clergy man used several scriptural verses to console the immediate family and parishioners on the great loss, assuring them that the church would ensure that culprits are brought to book.
He encouraged Catholic priests to draw strength from God and continue their missionary work without fear and intimidation.
The remains of the late Catholic priest was later laid to rest at St. Jude and Simon Junior Seminary School, Kuje, Abuja, after other funeral ceremony.