Bishop Martin Hayes has offered prayers for the happy repose of the soul of Father Isaac Achi, the Catholic priest of the Diocese of Minna in Nigeria, who was killed on Sunday 15 January 2023 after bandits set fire to his parish rectory.

Fr. Issac’s body was found within the charred remains of the parish building of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church according to the Catholic Diocese of Minna, Nigeria.

He died after armed bandits attacked the priest’s residence in the village of Kafin Koro at around 3a.m. Another priest at the rectory, Father Collins Omeh, escaped the building, but sustained gunshot wounds and is being treated in a hospital.

The Governor of the Nigerian state of Niger where the attack took place, Alhaji Sani Bello Abubakar, described the attack as “ungodly and inhumane” and directed the local security agencies to pursue the attackers, according to local media

“This is a sad moment, for a priest to be killed in such a manner means that we are not all safe, these terrorists have lost it, and drastic action is needed to end this ongoing carnage,” the Governor said.

The late Fr. Issac served as the parish priest of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church where he died. He was also the chairman of his local branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

“May the soul of Very Reverend Father Isaac Achi and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in perfect peace,” the Diocese of Minna said in a statement shared by the Nigeria Catholic Network.

Bishop Martin encouraged the priests and people of the Diocese of Kilmore to pray for the happy repose of Fr. Issac’s soul and for all who have been affected by this brutal attack.

The Kilmore Diocese has had a very close association with the Diocese of Minna for almost 40 years with a number of Kilmore priests having served there as missionaries.  Fr. Yusuf Bamai, currently Parish Priest of Kilsherdany and Drung in the Diocese of Kilmore, was originally ordained for the Diocese of Minna and knew the late Fr. Issac. Fr. Peter Okpetu and Fr. Rodney Tanko, who are also both from Nigeria, currently minister in the Diocese of Kilmore as well.