Abuja, Jan. 30, 2006 - Two assailants made their way into the vicarage compound of St John's Cathedral Church around 10.00pm last Tuesday and fatally shot the administrative assistant to the Bishop of Bida, the Venerable Elijah Abubakar Yisa, Diocesan authorities said today.
In a telephone interview with the Bishop of Bida, the Rt. Rev. Jonah Kolo confirmed that the Venerable Elijah Yisa, a priest of the Diocese of Bida in the Province of Abuja, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) was killed by yet to be identified assailants.
Media reports at the weekend identified the slain Anglican Priest as one Rt. Reverend Elisha Yisa, a Bishop of St Paul's Anglican Church Bida in Niger State. A certain media report was captioned 'Anglican Bishop murdered'.
'It was Ven Elijah Yisa and not Rt. Reverend Elisha Yisa that was killed. Ven. Elijah Yisa was my administrative assistant,' Bishop Kolo said.
Meanwhile, the Primate of All Nigeria, the Most Rev Peter Akinola has sent a condolence message to the family of the deceased priest in Bida, Niger State.
A delegation led by the Church of Nigeria, Director of Social Welfare, Ven. Christian Ebisike, last Thursday delivered the Primates condolence message.
'We learnt with rude shock the dastardly act that led to the death of Ven. Elijah Yisa yesterday. His Grace, The Most Rev. Peter J. Akinola, commiserates with you and prays that God will console you and the entire diocese and particularly the widow and children of the deceased.'
'May the Lord pour upon you all His oil of joy in place of the spirit of heaviness,' the Primates commiseration letter signed by the General Secretary, Ven. Oluranti Odubogun said.
The killing of Venerable Yisa of the Anglican Church drew reactions of shock and grief from the Registrar of the Church, Mr. Abraham Yisa and other faithful of the Church.
'Without any prejudice to police investigations, I can say the deceased is not controversial, he is not involved in any dispute with anybody,' the registrar told Nigeria Tribune newspapers.
Bishop Kolo of Bida diocese, according to the newspaper report, wants the killers to 'voluntarily offer themselves to the police so that they will not go to hell.' He also asked the killers 'to confess their sins and ask for forgiveness.'
Ven Yisa, born in 1947, attended the Theological College of Northern Nigeria (TCNN), Bukuru. He was ordained priest in 1977 and preferred Archdeacon in 1993 by the former Bishop of Minna, the Rt. Rev Nathaniel Yisa.
His pastoral ministry has been largely in the northern part of Nigeria. At different times he worked in Kano, Kaduna, Zaria, Minna and Bida. He moved to the Cathedral of St John Bida as administrative assistant to the Bishop from St Matthews Church Bida where he served as Chairman of Bida Provisional District Church Council.
Respondents in Bida identified the late Archdeacon as a dedicated evangelist who encouraged many to be converted to the Christian faith. He was married to Millicent Amina and blessed with four children.
He will be buried at the Cathedral Church of St John, Bida on Tuesday 31st January, 2006.
Rev. Canon AkinTunde Popoola
Church Of Nigeria Communications Department
24, Douala Street, Wuse zone5'