07/20/2022 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – Nigeria has witnessed an unprecedented level of insecurity despite a declaration in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which states that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary aim of the government.” Unfortunately, the government has not played a pivotal role as far as security matters are concerned in Nigeria.
Just this past week, Reverend Fr. Vitus Borogo was killed in Nigeria’s northern Kaduna State on his farm by armed bandits.
The Catholic Archbishop of Nigeria’s Kaduna state released a statement on the death of Fr. Borogo, “Most Rev. Matthew Man-Oso Ndagoso, the Catholic Archbishop of Kaduna condoles with the immediate family, the NFCS Family of Kaduna Polytechnic, and indeed the entire Kaduna Polytechnic Community; and assures them of his fraternal closeness and prayers.”
A former Kaduna Central Senator, Shehu Sani, also reacted to the priest’s death on social media. In a tweet, the former lawmaker wrote, “The killing of Reverend Father Vitrus Bogoro of the Kaduna polytechnic Catholic Church by terrorists on his farm in Kaduna is sad, unfortunate, and condemnable.”
Until his death, the 50-year-old priest was the chaplain of the Catholic Community of the Kaduna State Polytechnic. Rev Fr. Vitus was also the Chairman of the Nigerian Catholic Diocesan Priests Association (NCDPA), Kaduna Chapter.
According to an eyewitness, a reverend who pleaded anonymity had this to say about Rev. Fr. Vitus’ death, “They killed him and made away with his younger brother Cyril and another person…”
When asked why Fr. Vitus wasn’t kidnapped, the reverend said, “there were people who knew he was going to the farm, and so they decided to ambush him. If you saw the dead body, you’ll also know that he resisted them since he’s well-built and strong.” The eyewitness said that it seemed he was a threat to some of them and so instead of kidnapping him, the militants killed him. He was shot in the forehead, stomach, chest, and leg and was gruesomely macheted in the arms.
According to an ICC contact in Nigeria, “Fr. Vitus was not doing any activity against the beliefs of anyone. He was the chaplain of Kad-Poly. He was a strong person who was just and kind. He was someone who could go the extra mile to make those in his congregation comfortable.”
The contact reported that Fr. Vitus “was not into any form of activism or advocacy but in the institution where he worked, he was very straightforward. He had zero tolerance for the maltreatment of both Christian students and workers. He was a bold, principled, and firm person. He never cowered, no matter the intimidation. This leaves us feeling that because of this character, he was targeted to be silenced. This is not the first time that clergymen have been killed with no justification.”
After he was killed, there was no effort from the government or the prison security to retrieve his brother from the hands of the militants. The militants went away with the victims unchallenged.
The ICC contact expressed his anger about Fr. Vitus’ death saying, “This is sad and unacceptable. We call on the government to step up security, investigate this and get the killers to face the full wrath of the law.”
According to sources, Fr. Vitus advocated that his congregants participate in the upcoming elections. In his homilies, he advised and encouraged his congregation to get their permanent voters card (PVC).
The death of Fr. Vitus Borogo is the latest attack on a Catholic priest in Nigeria. On Friday, July 15, two Catholic priests were abducted from their churches in Kaduna state. In 2022 alone, 20 Catholic priests were abducted.
Please pray for the family of Father Borogo and peace in Kaduna state.
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