The anglophone seminarian who was shot two weeks ago in Bamessing, North West region of Cameroon has been laid to rest at the Big Mankon Cathedral cemetry in Bamenda.
Gerard Akatia was laid to rest on Tuesday after a requiem mass at the Bamenda Archdiocese where priests prayed for he repose of his sould.
The Archbishop of Bamenda Cornelius Fontem Esua described the slain priest as a matyr of the Anglophone crisis as he called on all factions involved in the ongoing conflict in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon to cease hostilities and sue for dialogue.
The Archbishop recounted the circumstances leading to the dead of the Gerard Akatia who hails from Njikwa, Momo Division of the North West region.
Cornelius Fontem’s version highlighted an earlier communiqué by thye Bamenda Archdiocese that stated Gerard Akatia was shot on the neck three times by soldiers.
Gerard and severa parishioners had remained behind on October 4 after morning mass before soldiers arrived.
“They were in front of the church when a military truck coming from Ndop stopped at the entrance to the road leading to the church,” Archbishop Esua said.
“Several army personnel descended from the truck and began to shoot,” he said.
This forced several christians to take cover at the sacristy.
“The army tried to open the door… they approached Gerard who was lying on the ground and told him to stand up which he did hesitantly”,” the Archbishop said.
“Then they fired three shots into his neck. He died instantly,” Archbishop Esua added.
“We are launching an appeal to all Christians at this moment of devastation to pray for the repose of his soul and also for Mr Stephen Akiata and Comfort Akiata, his parents, who are his whole family as Gérard was an only child.”
Before his death, the semanarian was waiting to embark on his pro-paedeutic year in the Spiritual Centre in Bafut, on October 12th, where he had to continue studies for the Catholic Priesthood. He had just completed studies from the Saint Aloysius Minor Seminary, Kitiwum in June.