Rev Fr. Faustinus Ukenongo Gundu, a dedicated Catholic priest, met an untimely demise after being struck by lightning in the Jootar Mbaterem community of Mbayenge Ward, located in the Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State.
Rev. Fr. Gundu, who served as the Parish Priest in charge of St. Joseph Catholic Church Jootar, tragically lost his life on Thursday, October 12, 2023, due to the lightning strike.
The heart-wrenching incident was confirmed on Facebook by members of the community and parishioners, including Olikita Ekani, a former media aide to the immediate past governor of the state, Samuel Ortom. Ekani expressed his condolences, stating, “My boss RIP Rev Fr. Faustinus Ukenongo Gundu. Early today we were together in your room without knowing that this will happen to you.”
Aoraan Festus, who had a close relationship with Rev. Fr. Gundu, shared a heartfelt tribute, saying, “Rest in peace Rev. Fr. Gundu Faustinus. I grew up knowing Rev. Fr. Gundu as he initiated the establishment of St Michael’s Catholic Church in my hometown, Abaji-Kpav. He devoted over ten years of his life to Abaji before moving on. Today, I received the sad news that he passed away due to a thunder strike. He was born in Ikpayongo of Masev in the present Gwer East LGA and dedicated his entire priesthood in the Sankera axis, tirelessly spreading the gospel of God. May your soul find eternal rest with our heavenly Father. Rest in peace, Padre.”
Mkaave Gabriel Ortyom reminisced about a recent encounter with the late priest, sharing, “Rest in peace Fr. Just yesterday, when I was returning from school (Federal University Wukari, Taraba State), I met him. We coincidentally bought bananas from the same vendor, and I assisted him by carrying the bananas he purchased on the bike he was about to ride to his parish house. He departed from Jootar before me. A few minutes later, I left Jootar towards my destination. Fr. Faustinus Gundu, may your soul find eternal peace with the Lord,” he wrote.