Sunday, 6 August 2017

Conflicting reports as Police, Obiano, Bishop confirm Ozobulu massacre

The church

By Okechukwu Onuegbu reports that reactions of Anambra State Police Commissioner, Garba Umar, Governor Obiano and prelate of Catholic church on attack at a church in Anambra state on Sunday were conflicting to what was obtained from survivors of the dastardly act.
Sources earlier told that not less than 47 people were shot dead as six unknown gunmen invaded St. Philip Catholic Church in Ofufe Amakwa village, Ozubulu, Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra.

They added that the gunmen, who came on masks spoke in Igbo language, before opening fire on worshippers during which 47 died while about 50 were injured.

It was further learnt that the hoodlums were assassins allegedly tracing Chief Allosius Ikegwuonu (Ebubechukwuzo 1 of Ozobulu), a-36 years old son of the community believed to be a drug baron.
Ikegwuonu, who incidentally built the invaded Church which is closer to his house, was said to have been trailed home by his fellow South African based drug barons over alleged business dispute but on discovering that he was not at home, went to Church, and killed his father, family members and other parishioners sitting at the direction where the target victims were sat.

But the Catholic Diocese of Nnewi, where Ozubulu falls, while speaking through its Bishop, Odili Okeke, claimed that the dead were 30 people.

However, another version of the story linked it to one of Chief Allosius Ikegwuonu (Ebubechukwuzo 1 of Ozobulu) boys, Mbaise man, who was allegedly killed after he left the gang because one Obrocho from Ozobulu, an importer of drugs into South Africa, lured him to join his camp.

The reports added that Mbaise people have vowed to retaliate to Ebubechukwuzo (also known as Bishop) and a full time drug dealer with over 500 'boys' and police SSA.

There is also another report that claims that one Nonso from Nnobi languishing in jail, has allegedly said he would be killings Ozubulu people every month as their indigenous people loyal to Ebubechukwuzo set him up, sold his motor park to Bishop.

However, the Anambra State Police Commissioner, Garba Baba Umar, while confirming the report, disclosed that 8 died at the spot while 18 got injured.

“Our findings show 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. We have information that the attack was a result of a quarrel between two natives of Ozubulu residing overseas. Such conduct shows the people behind the act do not fear God,” he added.
Reacting also, Governor Willie Obiano, on visiting the scene of horror, condemned the act, but asked Anambrarians and residents to go about their normal business.

Obiano, while revealing that preliminary security investigations show that the shooting was caused by a feud between two brothers from the community living outside Nigeria, described it as “sacrilegious, totally unacceptable in Anambra State.

“We can’t allow this happen in Anambra, we must get everyone involved to face the music. I have also visited Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi where the injured are being treated. Over 50 doctors are already attending to them. Anambra state government will pay for all their medical bills,” he maintained.

Meanwhile, the injured and the dead bodies have been taken to Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi.

Also speaking, the Catholic bishop of Awka Diocese, His Lordship Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, while condoling with Nnewi Catholic Diocese and his counterpart, Bishop Hilary Odili Okeke over what he termed senseless killing of innocent worshippers, described the incident as unfortunate and regrettable.
'What on earth could make someone to start taking lives which they cannot reproduce. People no longer have regard for human lives. People killing people as if they are chickens. I am seriously saddened by this ugly development. The worst part of it, is that, the dastardly act were perpetrated in a place of worship. House of God. The security agencies should quickly intervene to unravel the mystery behind the incident and bring to book the perpetrators of heinous crime.



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