Gunmen suspected to be armed robbers has killed a young Catholic priest in Abuja. Father Michael Akawu, the first indigene of Abuja to be ordained for Abuja Archdiocese, was shot dead at a supermarket in Gwagwalada on Saturday, where he had gone shopping. Fr. Akawa was ordained a priest on February 4th, 2017. May his soul rest in peace. Read tribute penned by Omokhugbo Ojeifo:
ANOTHER BLACK SUNDAY.
The frailty, fragility, and futility of life:
Rest in Peace Fr. Michael AKAWU.
In 1655, a plague swept through Naples and killed many people, including many members of Salvator Rosa’s family, a Seventeenth-Century Italian artist. Rosa lost his brother, his sister, her husband and five of their children to the plague, including his infant son Rosalvo. Moved by the deaths of his family members, Rosa painted perhaps the most moving of all memento mori, entitled simply L’umana fragilità (‘Human Frailty’). In that portrait, Rosa painted the angel of death grinning hideously from the darkness behind his wife in order to claim their infant Rosalvo, even as he makes his first attempt to write.
The mood of the heartbroken artist is immortally summed up in just eight Latin words inscribed on canvas:
Conception is sin,
birth is pain,
life is toil,
death is inevitable.
Those eight words always remind me of the futility of human life. As the Psalmist says, “Human life is a mere puff of wind, days as fleeting as a shadow” (Ps 144:3-4). Placed on the scales, we are lighter than air (cf. Ps 62:9). We are like grass which springs up and blossoms in the morning but by evening already withers and fades (cf. Ps 90:9). This is our human story; this is the story of one of our young Abuja priests, Fr. Michael Akawu, the first indigene of Abuja to be ordained for our Archdiocese. He was shot dead yesterday evening by armed robbers at a supermarket in Gwagwalada where he went to buy some provisions for the parish rectory. Fr. Michael was ordained in 2017. May God grant him the light and reward of eternal life. Amen.