He should not be touched be-
cause he represents God and
what God stands for.
At Mass he acts in the per-
son of Christ and reminds himself of his
mission on a daily basis when he cele-
“At the time he was betrayed and en-
tered willingly into his passion, he took
bread and giving thanks, broke it, and
gave it to his disciples, saying:
‘Take this, all of you, and eat of it, for
this is my. body, which will be given up
for you.’ “
The priest gives himself every day for
the people of God, not just those who go
to his church, but all who are God’s chil-
He is one of the most educated in the
whole world, spending not less than ten
years after secondary school learning
how to take care of God’s people.
With his high level of education, he is
formed to humble himself and work in
the most disadvantaged places.
He may live in slums in his mission to
help people live better lives.
He has no child, but the education of
children may be his priority.
He has no wife, but his preaching may
help couples to live good lives.
He is not a biological father, but as a
spiritual Father, he has more children
than any biological father in the whole
world who depend on him for their
basic needs ranging from school fees,
hospital bills, food, clothing and even
In conflict areas, he opens his home to
all sides to take shelter in.
While others are sleeping, he wakes up
early to raise their concerns to the heav-
Each day he sits patiently at the office
listening to people’s problems and prof-
When weekend comes, while others
say ‘Thank God it is Friday,’ he knows
that heavy work awaits him during the
At Mass he has to play his prophetic
role and condemn societal ills and those
who perpetrate them. He speaks truth
to powers that be, an act that does not
put him in good standing with the rich,
who might be architects of the poverty
in the land.
During baptism, he makes us children
At wedding he blesses couples.
At funerals, he commends the depart-
ed into the loving hands of God.
When back to his home, there is no
one he can call his own, he goes to bed
In a village, he may find difficulty find-
ing domestic staff because many people
would like to be in cities where things
With all these load of work, the income
at the disposal of a priest may not be
able to take care of his numerous needs,
which are often basically the needs of his
flock. And the rich may not be willing to
help because of his prophetic role which
rebukes them. With his status, he may
condescend to the level of begging just
to take care of the flock of God.
Worse of all, when he is sick, the peo-
ple he has committed his life to may
abandon him, he may be left with his
God alone as the people have no time to
take care of him.
When he is dead, all that is left to say
that he came in the world are his good
deeds as no one answers after his name.
With the sacrifices a priest makes for
the good of society, I wonder why a
group of people should decide to kill a
priest of God and then proceed to burn
his mortal remains!!!
For being a representative of God,
a should not be touched as the scrip-
ture has even said it; ‘Do not touch my
anointed ones. Do not harm my proph-
ets.’ Psalm 195:15: 1Chronicles 16:22.
At the beginning of the year, from
March 25 – 29 the National Association
of Diocesan and Religious Directors
of Communication had their plenary
assembly in Makurdi and I was one of
the persons charged with the responsi-
bility of writing the resolutions. One of
the resolutions was a clarion call on the
Catholic bishops’ conference of Nigeria
to liaise with the government and look
into the issue of the incessant killing of
priests in the country. We wrote:
‘The Spate of killing of priests and re-
ligious. We have noticed with shock and
disdain the increasing rate of kidnap
and sometimes, murder of priests and
religious in our country. The church has
been, and continues to be the voice of
hope of the voiceless in our society, this
function has been carried out by priests
and religious, doing away with priests
and religious implies doing away with
the church and what it stands for… We
appeal to the Catholic Bishops’ Confer-
ence of Nigeria to undertake a research
on the causes of the kidnap and murder
of priests and religious and collaborate
with the government in bringing to an
this sacrilegious act.’
The murder of Fr. David TANKO of
Jalingo diocese has a setting, the crisis
between the Jukun and the Tiv of Yara-
ba State. This crisis erupted in a pro-
nounced way on the 1st of April 2019.
A lot of people have been murdered,
properties worth billions of Naira de-
stroyed. Some of us are yet to hear what
the Catholic Church hierarchy has done
about it. But For David TANKO and his
colleagues were trying to proffer solu-
tions at their own level.
The government and her security ap-
paratus are not concerned because the
crisis has not affected their own.
I pray that the church hierarchy may
pay attention to the resolution of the
National Association of Diocesan and
religious directors of communications
and act fast to bring peace to the land.