It was a very painful and teary event at the Saints Simon and Jude Seminary Kuje, when late Rev. Fr. Michael Akawu, shot dead by armed robbers in Gwagwalada, was laid to rest.
Late Rev Fr Michael Akawu, Catholic priest shot dead by armed robbers in Abuja
The Catholic Bishop of Abuja, Most Revd. John Cardinal Onayeikan, many catholic priests, family members, relatives and other faithfuls, could not hold back their tears as Rev. Akawu, the first indigenous priest was buried.
The priest who was just 18 months in priesthood, was until his death the Assistant Parish Priest at Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Parish Dobi.
Late Rev. Fr Michael Akawu (Middle) during his ordination by His Eminence, John Cardinal Onaiyekan
On Thursday, Late Rev. Akawu’s body left University Teaching Hospital Gwagwalada for Immaculate Conception Parish Dobi for a Mass, from where it departed to Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral Garki for three different masses of the Wake.
On Friday August 24, the Funeral Mass was also held at OLQN Pro- Cathedral from where it proceeded to the Priests Burial Ground at the Ss Simon and Jude Minor Seminary Kuje for internment.
The Parish Priest at Dobi, Rev. Fr. Paul Oziabor Salami, told our correspondent who is a personal friend, that the death of the young priest has left the whole parish devastated.
During the funeral mass for Late Fr. Michael Akawu
Fr. Salami who was visibly broken said that the death of his colleague and friend cut so deeply as he prayed God to bring the perpetrators of the dastardly act to book.
Rev. Fr Michael Akawu was Saturday evening shot dead by yet to be identified gun men in Gwagwalada, Abuja.
The Catholic Priest, who until his gruesome killing worked as Assistant Parish Priest at Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Parish Dobi, was allegedly gunned down at a Supermarket in Gwagwalada where he was said to have gone shopping.
Earlier in the week, while reacting to the death of Fr. Akawu, Director of Social Communication in the Archdiocese, Fr. Patrick Alumuku, described Akawu’s demise as a blow below the belt to the growth of the local church in Abuja.
Burial site of Rev Fr Michael Akawu at the Saints Simon and Jude Seminary Kuje
“It is a very sad moment for us because Fr. Akawu was a sign of the growing local church in the FCT. He was the first indigenous priest of the local tribe here in the nation’s capital,” he said.
He ruled out the possibility of a targeted attack on the slain priest, saying: “The church was made to understand that Fr. Akawu was not the only individual that was killed by the gunmen.”