Death must come to us all. No doubt. But I would rather die purposefully, in front of a crowd peacefully protesting the abysmal security situation of our country, than meet my maker in the den of kidnappers.

My appeal to Church authorities is simple. Give us the PLATFORM to make our voices heard. Let us PROTEST. Give the mandate. Let any Catholic, or Christian of any other denomination, or even those of other faiths, willing to peacefully protest join us. All hands must be on deck.

It’s time for Bishops to gather the priests and parishioners of all their Dioceses in Nigeria for a Mass peaceful non violent protest. Our people are dying, and we must put our necks out there, and like the Good Shepherd, protect our Sheep from ravenous WOLVES.

It’s not easy waking up to yet another obituary. Today, it’s Rev. Fr Joseph Aketeh Bako of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kaduna. Yesterday, it was Rev. Fr. Luke Adeleke of Abeokuta Diocese. Tomorrow it might be me or you, or anyone related to us. We can’t continue like this.

Fr. Bako was only 48 years old. Like many others, he didn’t meet his abductors on the road. He was picked up from his Parish and killed after more than one torturous month in the kidnappers’ den. I can recall many other priests and parishioners who have been picked up this way from their homes. What a country!

At a trying time like this, THE CHURCH CANNOT AFFORD TO FAIL. We must stand up and do something. People must be alive to go to Church.

The letter dated yesterday, Wednesday, May 11th 2022, and addressed to the Catholic Secretariat of Abuja, from the Chancellor of Kaduna Archdiocese, Rev. Fr. Christian Okewu Emmanuel, completely broke my heart.

A priest is kidnapped, he spends more than a month in captivity, he dies in the hands of his abductors, and no one knows for sure until nearly a month later? No one is arrested or brought to book so far? This is a DISASTER!

For me, there’s a lot more pain in this OBITUARY than in the many others before. I pray that the family of the late Priest finds fortitude to bear the loss.

My heart also goes out to the Archbishop, priests and parishioners of Kaduna Archdiocese.

But unless we do something now, WE MUST BE PREPARED TO BURY MANY MORE OF OUR LOVED ONES. This is simply a FACT!

May Fr. Bako’s soul rest in peace. And I hope to God that his death was not in vain.

© Oselumhense Anetor, 2022