Massacre at Ozubulu: Anger, condemnation in the land

'Bishop"

The dastardly act of terror which resulted in the massacre of church members in Ozubulu has become , as expected, a viral story over the social media. But the major surprise is the speed with which the Anambra state Commissioner of police, Garba Bab Umar, immediately released information indicating that the massacre was orchestrated by a feud between two brother whose quarrel were drug related. “The police will locate and and prosecute the perpetrators soon”, the commissioner said. “Intelligence report/Preliminary investigation shows that the incident is as a result of a feud between two individuals who are from the community but who live outside Nigeria, one of the individual we learnt, built the church where the incident occurred. It is definitely not a terrorist attack in the mold of Boko Haram or Fulani H`erdsmen attack.”
Sceptics have been questioning the haste with which the police got their preliminary investigations.
Eye witness account say that the by about 6.15 a.m. on Sunday, 6th August 2017, two cars arrived at the entrance of St. Phillips Catholic church, Amakwa in Ozubulu, Ekwusigo local government Area of Anambra state. They moved to the center of the gate and parked both cars, effectively blocking the church gate. Before any one can accost them, about six men came out of the cars and headed into the Church. “(They were) fully armed, all in dark cloths. I was lucky because I was sitting at the back, just beside the door, but I was clearly seeing what was happening. The sky was cloudy and everywhere seemed dark; no one saw what they were carrying, whether it was gun, but surely they were fully equipped.”
They stormed the church and opened fire on the congregation. because of the blocked gate, the escape route has been effectively bared, increased the casualty figure. The Reverend Father, Jude Onyeaso, took one look at them and took to his heels. The lady who was doing the first reading also hid herself. “When I came back, I only saw the corpses of my parishioners” Onyeaso said.
“It is regrettable that our people are more and more loosing a sense of what is sacred.
What on earth would make people open fire on innocent unarmed worshipers including children and women on a Sunday morning?” The Catholic Diocese of Nnewi, Anambra, said in a statement signed by Rev. Hygi Aghaulor, Director of Communications of the Diocese.
And that is the crust of the matter. Preliminary investigations that unraveled so much information within one hour of the act indicated that it was a drug related war involving the founder of Ebubechukwu Uzo Foundation, Chief Alloysius Nnamdi Ikegwuonu, Akuchinyere Nwata 1, Bishop 1 of Ozubulu and his father. Such nicknames goes to show how much he rates himself-and is virtually worshiped in the community. The popular narrative was that the attackers came to Ozubulu to kill the drug baron, but missed him by the whiskers as he was said to have left the country the previous day. They then decided to look for his father in the church and in the process of killing him killed other members of the church.there were allegations that the war was being fought from South Africa, where his squabble with another Ozubulu Man, popularly known as Oroko, who influenced Bishop’s second in command, an unnamed Mbaise Man to jump ship, leading to his assassination by Bishop and his goons.But skeptics have been asking how suddenly the police became in possession of such detailed information in such a short time, considering that there was no interrogation of anybody at the crime scene. Another puzzle was why it was difficult to have accosted the criminals if indeed they were aware of the drug issue. Was it an issue of compromised silence?
Perhaps that was the reason that former minister of Aviation, Femi Fani Kayose, insisted the drug tale must be taken with a pinch of salt.”I do not buy the Fulani Commissioner of Police’s version of events”, he said. “He finished his investigation in record time and just a few minutes after the event he told us that those behind the attack were Igbos that were involved in a communal struggle which has its roots in South Africa.I smell a rat here and I suspect that the government is trying to cover up the truth Until they show me the evidence I remain skeptical about the Commissioner’s assertion.I believe that the usual suspects are behind these killings and the fact that they were carried out in a Church just one day after the Hausa song that called for the mass murder of Igbos was released all over the north is relevant and noteworthy.
Anyone that doubts that should read the lyrics of that shameful song and hear what those it was written by instructed their people to do.”
Last week, there was a video, which transcript was translated from Hausa language and purported to be a trending song urging the Northern youths to kill Igbos. The video has attracted wide condemnations with people asking the Osinbajo/Buhari government to investigate the issue in the face of the quit notice by Arewa youths to Igbos residing in the North.
Besides Fanikayode, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has condemned the massacre, and called for the resignation of the commissioner of Police.They demanded form the sack of the Anambra State Police commissioner and the Director of State services (DSS) for what they called sleeping on their constitutional duties.
Meanwhile, government agencies and officials are falling over themselves trying to condemn the massacre. Buhari thrugh his media Aid, Garba Shehu,; Senate President Bukola Saraki,; Speaker Yakubu Dogara-all condemned the massacre.

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