Top Story

Blood flows as gunmen kill worshippers in Anambra church

…Police, Obiano say it’s drug barons at war

Buhari, Saraki, Dogara others condemn attack

By Ayo Fadimu and Shola Agba, Abuja

The Ozubulu community in Ekwusigo local government area of Anambra State were thrown into mourning as a gun man walked into St Philip’s Catholic Church and started shooting sporadically, killing 11 and injuring 18 persons.

On hearing the sad development, Governor Obiano stormed the scene to ascertain the level of damage and sympathize with the people.

Speaking at the Church premises, the governor revealed that preliminary security investigations show that the shooting was caused by a feud between two brothers from the community living outside Nigeria

“This is sacrilegious, totally unacceptable in Anambra State.” – Gov Obiano

The deeply saddened governor asked the people to go about their businesses without fear or panic noting that this isolated case must be followed to the root and all perpetrators must be brought to book.

“We can’t allow this happen in Anambra, we must get everyone involved to face the music” the governor declared.

Gov Obiano also visited Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi where the injured are being treated.

However, The police in Anambra state insited  that only one  gunman killed eight worshippers and injured 18 others in an early morning attack on the church.

Earlier reports had said the killings were done by gunmen, with rumours that some Boko Haram elements carried out the attack.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr Garba Umar dismissed the rumour and said the attack was carried out by a lone wolf gunman, who is an indigene of the area.

Umar told the newsmen in Awka that the remains of the dead had been deposited at Nnamdi Azikwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi.

Umar also said that the injured had been taken to the hospital.

He said that preliminary investigations by the police revealed that the attack was carried out by an indigene of the area.

“From our findings, it is very clear that the person who carried the attack must be an indigene of the area.

“We gathered that worshippers for 6 o’clock Sunday mass at St. Philip Ozobulu were in the service when a gunman dressed in black attire covering his face with a cap entered the church and moved straight to a particular direction and opened fire.

“The man after shooting at his targeted victims still went on a shooting spree, killing and wounding other worshippers,’’ he said.

The commissioner said information available to police showed that the attacker was speaking undiluted Igbo Language at the time he was firing at worshippers.

Umar said though no arrest had been made,   the police already learnt that the attack followed a quarrel between two natives of Ozubulu residing overseas.

Describing the act as sacrilegious, the commissioner of police said it was wrong for the perpetrators of the act to extend their quarrel into the church.

He added: “such conduct shows the people behind the act do not fear God.’’

He said the police had launched a manhunt on those behind the act and gave an assurance that everybody behind the act would be brought to justice.

He said the police were on top of the situation.’

Nigerian NewsDirect gathered that gunmen went into the church during the 5:45am mass and identified a particular man and shot him

He said that they later went on rampage and shot at the remaining worshippers numbering over 100..The source, however, said the priest of the church was not wounded in the incident.

In the meantime, President Muhammadu Buhari. has condemned the Ozubulu Church attack in Anambra State by a yet-to-be-identified gunmen, describing the incident as “an appalling crime against humanity and unspeakable sacrilege.”

Expressing his grief in  a strongly worded statement issued by the the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, President Buhari said that “there was no justification whatsoever to target Church worshippers and kill them in cold blood.”

He said this kind of attrocity “plumbs the depth of depravity and extreme cruelty of the kind that words cannot adequately express.”

According to the President, there is no religion that does not lay constant emphasis on the sanctity of life, and that “all Nigerians must rise up and speak with one voice against these remorseless evil men.”

While expressing his deep felt sympathy with the families of the victims, the Church leadership and the government of Anambra State, President Buhari has reassured all Nigerians of his administration’s firm and uncompromising commitment to protect their lives and property at all times.

Similarly, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, alsos expressed deep sadness over the massacre .In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki stated that the killing of worshippers represents the purest kind of evil, and the security services must not stop until the perpetrators are brought to justice.

“Today, my heart goes out to Nigeria’s Christian community, Governor Willy Obiano, the people of Anambra State, and the families of the victims and the survivors of this terrible massacre,” the Senate President said.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top