President Buhari denounces Catholic Priest Assassination

President Muhammadu Buhari has denounced the assassination of Reverend Father John Cheitnum of the Kafanchan Catholic Diocese, who was shot dead four days after being kidnapped by gunmen in Kaduna State.

“I am deeply disturbed by the murder of this revered religious figure by outlaws who seem to be bent on creating chaos and disorder in the country,” he said in a statement on Wednesday by his spokesman Garba Shehu in Abuja.

“The persistent attack on innocent people, including religious figures, by gunmen is a matter of grave concern for this administration because security is one of the major issues of our campaign promises.”

President Buhari promised Nigerians that the government would continue to protect their safety, notwithstanding the recent pattern of these criminals’ operations.

“Let me reassure Nigerians that my commitment to this issue is as firm as ever; I have always made it a duty to regularly summon security chiefs to discuss these challenges and the way forward,” he said. “I’m not allowing the security chiefs to rest until we find a very effective solution to this disturbing security situation.

“The security of all Nigerians remains our major priority, and I assure Nigerians that we are determined to crush these enemies of humanity with all the resources at our disposal.”

The President also expressed his condolences for Cheitnum’s passing to the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Kaduna State as well as the family of the murdered priest.

In recent times, bandits have carried out new attacks in various states, including Kaduna, where clergymen, particularly Catholic priests, have been the targets.

Reverend Father John Cheitnum and Reverend Father Donatus Cleopas were kidnapped last Friday in Kaduna State’s Jere Local Government Area (LGA), among other attacks.

They were taken just two weeks after Reverend Father Emmanuel Silas, another priest, was taken hostage by robbers from the parish rectory of Saint Charles Catholic Church, Zamina, in Kauru LGA.

The decomposing body of Cheitnum was found on Tuesday, according to the Chancellor of the Kafanchan Catholic Diocese, Reverend Father Emmanuel Okolo.

In contrast, it was reported that the robbers freed Reverend Father Cleopas after paying an undisclosed ransom to them.

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