Father John Mark Ikpiki, a prominent Catholic priest, was killed by armed robbers in Nigeria on Monday in what was described as a shocking and dehumanizing crime.
Father Louis Odudu, the Director of Pastoral Affairs at the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, said robbers shot Father Ikpiki and stole his car. Father Odudu reported the assailants abandoned the car sometime later, according to an e-mail CNA received from Catholic journalist Peter Dada in Lagos, Nigeria.
Father Ikpiki, a priest of the Diocese of Warri, is described on the diocesan web site as a preacher, an “educationist,” a psychologist, and a communicator. He published the Living Witness Series of educational material to help people to grow in knowledge of God and knowledge of self.
The priest authored more than ten books and offered retreats and seminars for young people.
He held two bachelor degrees in philosophy and theology, one of which was granted by the Urban Pontifical University of Rome. In addition to three master’s degrees in social psychology, educational management, and communication, he held a postgraduate diploma in education.
According to the Diocese of Warri’s web site, Father Ikpiki was diocesan chaplain to the Catholic Dramatic Society and director of communications for the diocese. He edited The Messenger of Peace, the diocese’s magazine.
Father Odudu described the slain priest as very loving, cheerful, and hard working. He was someone God had used to touch several lives, Father Odudu said.