Catholic Priest: Police kill Niger protester, station burnt
Following the burning of a Catholic priest in Kafin-Koro in the Paikoro Local Government Area of Niger State, aggrieved women and youths on Tuesday burnt down the Kafin-Koro Police Station.
A resident of the community, who identified himself only as Jonathan for security reasons, said the ECWA and Catholic women groups had converged on the premises of the burnt parish around 7am on Tuesday to pray against those who lynched the priest.
“As the women were praying, some policemen arrived that they were a detachment from the Kafin-Koro Police Division drafted to the church to provide protection for the praying women.
“The women rejected the protection and requested that the police should leave because the police did not provide protection for the dead priest neither did they show up on time when they were called,” he added.
Jonathan explained that when the policemen refused to leave the residence of the late priest, the women threw stones and sachet water at them.
“After the prayers, the women were joined by some youths to march peacefully through the major road of the town to the police division, singing anti-police songs to register their grievances, as they asked the police to leave the town since their presence was of no security value to the community.
“As the police were trying to disperse the crowd, the police began shooting into the air and one of the bullets hit a man, who died immediately. That was how the protest turned violent,” he added.
The eyewitness said the irate youths subsequently set the police division on fire.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, confirmed the incident.
He said, “On January 17, 2023, around 9am, some angry youths of Kafin-Koro District, Paikoro LGA, mobilised and protested in Kafin-Koro town over the killing of the parish priest, Rev. Fr. Isaac.
“During the protest, the rampaging youths attacked and set Kaffin-Koro Divisional Police Headquarters ablaze.”