By Ononye VC
Tears and emotions flowed freely as over 700 priests and other Catholic faithful and non-faithful alike witnessed the burial of Reverend Father Vitus Borogo on Thursday, June 30.
Reverend Father Borogo was killed by terrorists on June 25, while working on a prison farm in Kujama area of Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State. Those on the farm with him were abducted by the terrorists, and are yet to be released at the time of filing this report.
Sun had reported that until his death, Fr Borogo, aged 50, was the chaplain of the Catholic Community of the Kaduna Polytechnic, and the chairman of the Nigerian Catholic Diocesan Priests Association (NCDPA), Kaduna Chapter.
While his remains were being lifted from Our Lady of Apostles Parish Church, Kaduna where a funeral Mass was held before his interment, some sympathisers had fainted.
The Chief mourner, Catholic Archbishop of Kaduna, Most Rev Matthew Man-Oso Ndagoso lamented that less than one year, he had buried three of his priests who were killed in cold blood by terrorists.
Bishop Ndagoso noted that killings in the country in recent times was worst than what was witnessed during the Nigerian civil war, adding that Nigerians are prisoners in their own country because of persistent attacks and killings in the country.
Apparently saddened over the death of Rev. Father Borogo, the Cathedral Administrator of St.Joseph Catholic Cathedral, Kaduna, Revd. Fr. Isaac Patrick Musa in a statement shortly after the burial of the slain priest, said that if the Kaduna State government could not protect lives, it should provide land to bury the priests because the burial ground was filled up, as priests had died in crisis and banditry in the state.
“The attack on priests is the best target to hit the common man and woman in Kaduna State. The killing of priests in Kaduna State is an attack on the government of the poor and rural dwellers. The attack on priest is an attack on the last hope of civil servants sacked by the government. If the priests march out in protest, these people will come out in solidarity, if the priests carry arms these people will carry arms, if the priests declare war these people will be ready to die fighting on the street.
“The priest is not trained for any of the above mentioned. We passed through a formation that respects the dignity of human life irrespective of class destination and religion. We are trained to be law abiding citizens and to preach same to everyone. We are the light of the societies we serve.
Kaduna State government should protect our lives to keep serving the people in the state. But if she cannot, at least provide land to bury our priests. Our burial ground is filled, our priests have died in crisis and banditry in the state and without you providing protections to our people, we will not stop working amongst them.
“As bandits are killing and kidnapping your citizen, they will continue to kidnap and kill us too. Just provide space to bury us. We are not safe and we are not afraid to die in the cause of discharging our pastoral duties. We are not going to stop being with the poor. The violent bandits seem to be your agents,”Father Musa said.
Rev. Musa further stated: “Our experiences as priests, in Kaduna State, have been that of total memory black out, confusion, desperation, helplessness and indecisiveness on what to do or say as bandits and terrorists continue to attack, kidnap and kill us unabated. Our diplomacy and maximum respect to the constituted authority of the state is equal to none.
“The ecclesiastical authority led by the Archbishop, Most Revd. Dr. Matthew Man Oso Ndangoso, has been highly considerate and understanding with the efforts of the state government in …