Just as the harmattan season is making its hurried exit, a harvest of fire incidents spread across Zaria City last weekend, leaving in its trail, anguish and destruction of property, reports Alexander Johnson Adejoh.
Fire broke out at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Samaru Zaria, Sabo Gari local Government Area of Kaduna State, last Monday morning, displacing the 5 Zaria Diocesan priests from their parishes.
According to an eyewitness, the fire started at about 2:00am and lasted till dawn, even as the cause of the fire outbreak was yet to be ascertained as at press time.
Speaking to Fides via a telephone interview, Rev Fr Alexander Sheyin Akaat, Director, Seat of Wisdom Academy, Zaria, who is resident at St Mary’s Parish, expressed gratitude to God that the 5 priests resident in the parish house were all away that fateful day for the annual Diocesan Priestly Retreat.
‘We must also appreciate the spirited efforts of the parishioners and community leaders who rushed to put off the fire from consuming the whole building which ensured that no life was lost, though every property in the parish house worth millions of naira was gutted by the inferno.
Reacting, Dr Emmanuel Aruya, the Erstwhile President, Catholic Youth Organization of Nigeria, CYON, disclosed that the cause of the strange fire outbreak was unknown although investigation was ongoing. According to him, the situation would have been grave but for the swift intervention of the state’s fire service.
‘The fire engulfed the parish house section of the church, destroying some propriety belonging to the Parish Priest, Rev Fr Augustine Isek; Associate Parish Priest, Rev Fr Samaila Sulieman; Resident Priest supplying St Theresa’s Parish, Shika; Rev Fr John Baushe; Resident Priest Supplying St Luke’s Chaplaincy, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria; Rev Fr Nehemiah Nkom; and Director, Seat of Wisdom Academy Zaria, Rev Fr Alexander Sheyin Akaat, who is also a resident priest at the burnt parish house,’ he said.
For support, contact:
Account Name: St. Mary’s Catholic Church Samaru
Account Number: 2099923277
Parish Priest, Rev Fr Augustine Isek – 08037309344
Associate Parish Priest, Rev Fr Samaila Sulieman 08036207901
Resident Priest, Rev Fr Alexander Sheyin Akaat – 07033851336
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