It is not easy to see a Catholic priest weep openly no matter the circumstance. So, when it now became the Catholic Bishop of Abuja, Most Revd. John Cardinal Onayeikan, that did so openly, the pain was better imagined than witnessed.
That was exactly the scenario at the Saints Simon and Jude Seminary Kuje where Rev. Akawu, the first indigenous priest was buried.
At the lowering, many catholic priests, family members, relatives and other faithfuls, could equally not hold back their tears.
The priest who was just 18 months in priesthood, was shot dead by armed robbers in Gwagwalada.
Until his death, he was the Assistant Parish Priest at Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Parish Dobi.
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.
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.
“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.”
-initial reporting, and pictures courtesy of NAN