January 17, (THEWILL) – The Kafin-koro police station in Paikoro LGA of Niger state, was on Tuesday, set ablaze by angry youths.
The development, according to a source in the community, may not be unconnected to the killing of Reverend Isaac Archi, a priest of St. Peters and Paul Catholic Church, in Kafin-Koro community.
Gunmen, suspected to be bandits, on Sunday, invaded Reverend Achi’s residence at about 3am and burnt the clergy along with his house.
The source said trouble started on Tuesday morning when some Christian women converged on the premises of the burnt Parish in Kafin Koro to offer prayers for the repose of the death of the Reverend Father.
A detachment of police, from the Kafin-koro police division, stormed the place to offer protection for the praying congregation.
The congregation, who came from all the villages within Kafin Koro district, were said to have vehemently resisted the voluntary offer of protection from the police, whom they accused of doing nothing to rescue Reverend Achi from the hands of the invading gunmen.
The congregation reportedly asked the police to leave in protest, hurling stones and sachet water at them.
It was gathered that the police, however, retreated to their station, but shortly after the prayers by the congregation, they were said to have marched in a peaceful protest through the major road of the town chanting anti-police slogans to the Police Division to register their grievances over the inability of the police to save Reverend Achi from the hands of his murderers despite several distress calls by the deceased and later his younger brother, Paul Sikiti.
It was at this point that the police were said to have opened fire and shot a middle-aged man.
In the ensuing violent confrontation with the police, some unidentified people among the protesters were said to have set the police station on fire and burnt the entire building down, asking the police to leave the town since their presence has no security meaning to the community.
Authorities in Niger are yet to issue a statement on this latest development.