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Massive Killings At Ozubulu Catholic Church Anambra - Governor Chief Willie Obiano Reacts

Massive Killings At Ozubulu Catholic Church Anambra Governor of Anambra state Chief Willie Obiano Reacts


About the sad event that occurred at Ozubulu. it was really terrible and saddening story, it happened at 
St Philip’s Catholic Church, Amakwa Ozubulu in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra state

At about 6:45am, the gunmen rode into the church in a Lexus SUV, as one of them entered the church and shot at close range an elderly man, later identified as Pa Ikegwuonu, while others remained in the vehicle outside. An eye-witness told Vanguard that after killing the old man, the gunman opened fire on other worshippers, as those who tried to flee were cut down by the gunmen outside the church. Pa Ikegwuonu is the father of Chief Aloysius Ikegwuonu, a businessman from Amakwa, who built and donated the church to Nnewi Diocese, while his wife was shot on her right arm and still on admission at the teaching hospital. It was gathered that the gunmen were looking for his son, Aloysius, who was said to have returned to the village on Saturday and left later in the day. According to a source, the gunmen had thought he was in the church and had wanted to deal decisively with him over a yet-to-be ascertained business deal.

How it Happened
A survivor, Mr. Stephen Ohamadike, told Vanguard at the church premises that the gunmen entered the church around 6.45am as they were about to begin prayer of the faithful. He said: “Those of us who were to say the prayers of the faithful had just assembled at the altar and I had Number 2 which meant that I was to say the prayer for Nigeria. Suddenly, I saw someone who was putting on a cap shooting indiscriminately inside the church. “There was pandemonium and in the midst of the confusion, I just lay down on the floor. The officiating priest and the Mass servers quickly left the altar and the Mass came to an abrupt end. “I counted 11 dead people and many were wounded. I used the vehicle belonging to Pa Ikegwuonu to take him and his wife and others to Evans Hospital where the doctors advised us to go to the teaching hospital. I used the car to convey many other people to the hospital before I came back to Amakwa.” The parish priest, Rev Father Jude Onwuaso, declined comment on the incident, saying the Bishop had directed that only the Diocesan Director of Communications should speak on the matter. Several other parishioners, who sustained bullet wounds were being treated at the hospital, with over 50 medical doctors from Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, NAUTH, and other private hospitals around Nnewi battling to save their lives at the Emergency Unit of the hospital. Governor Willie Obiano, who visited both the church and the teaching hospital, described the incident as very worrisome, adding that preliminary investigations by the Police showed that it was a case between two people from the community who were resident abroad.

He said: “It is tragic that these two people had to bring their quarrel abroad to the village and to the church where innocent people had to be killed and injured. We are not going to relax until those who perpetrated this heinous crime are apprehended. That I can assure you. “It was so bad that the gunmen went round the church to ascertain that the car belonging to the person they were after was there before they entered the church and started shooting, not knowing that it was his parents that came in the car. “I don’t want churches in this state to become apprehensive because of this incident because it is an isolated case.” The governor commended the doctors for their quick response to save lives, adding that but for their intervention, more lives would have been lost. He promised that the state government would offset the bills of those being treated and assist in bearing the cost of the funeral of those who lost their lives.

Special Broadcast by Chief Willie Obiano the Governor of Anambra State
His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano on the St Phillips Catholic Church Killings at Ozubulu on August 7, 2017.

Good morning fellow citizens

Ndi Anambra ekenem unu

With a sorrowful heart, I stand before you today to brief you on the tragic killing of 12 people at St Philips Catholic Church, Amakwa, Ozubulu yesterday.

First, I want to assure you all that what happened in Ozubulu yesterday was a tragic dimension of a long battle between two business partners who are from the same town. I have been fully informed that this dangerous conflict has been going on for a while in the country where they both live outside Nigeria before they decided to bring the conflict home. But let me assure you that Anambra is too hot for them to operate here, going forward.

This explanation, I believe, has erased the fears that the incident may have been caused by either some terrorist organizations or some members of some groups of agitators in the country. Brothers and sisters, what happened in Ozubulu was neither a terror attack as we know it, nor a violent action by some agitators. We are dealing with a dangerous GANG WAR that has spilled over to Anambra State from another African country. But this is the last time it will happen under my watch!

Fellow citizens, I want to assure you that we are on top of this situation. We are completely in charge here. The people directly and remotely involved in this crime are known to the law enforcement agencies. But no suspect, no matter how highly placed, is above the law. So, we have taken bold steps to bring them to book and restore the peace and tranquility that Anambra State has enjoyed since the past three years.

Sincerely, there is no cause for fear or alarm here. Anambra state is safe. Our churches and places of worship are safe. So, our people should not be discouraged from going to church to serve their God because what happened in Amakwa, Ozubulu is an isolated case. It will not happen again! Ndi Anambra should continue to sleep with both eyes closed because we are staying awake for them. In the words of Wendell Philips, the American abolitionist and liberal activist, “the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” We have chosen to stay awake that Anambra may find sleep! I repeat, never again will this type of bloodshed happen in Anambra State under me!

Ndi Anambra, in all our 25-year history, never has a single act of senseless violence consumed so many lives. I strongly condemn this wanton killing of our fellow citizens who left their loved ones in the early hours of Sunday morning to worship their God. I condemn the senseless violation of sacred places of worship by people to whom neither man nor God is worthy of respect or honour. I condemn these people who did not think twice before placing such a heavy burden on our humanity!

All the shadowy characters behind this crime shall account for it. This is the first and the last of this appalling crime!

Fellow citizens, I call on you today, to join hands with me to rid our society of all vestiges of crime and criminality. Nothing else can stand in the way of accelerated development as crime does. We are familiar with this fact in Anambra State. That is why we have fought tooth and nail to usher in the long period of peace we have enjoyed in Anambra State.

To our numerous friends and partners, I want to assure you that Anambra is still Nigeria’s safest state. Indeed, the Ozubulu killings have only strengthened our commitment to create a safer, business-friendly and prosperous state. We remain focused on our Vision and Mission to this great state. No amount of threats or wholesale destructions can shake our commitment to these ideals.

Ndi Anambra, I have declared today a Day of Mourning in honour of our brothers and sisters that were slain yesterday. We shall observe a minute of silence in their honour at 12 noon today and special prayers shall be offered for them in churches and prayer houses across Nigeria and in the Diaspora. We have also opened a Condolence Register for them in the Government House.

Finally, for the 18 survivors of this carnage who are nursing different injuries in the hospital, my administration shall pick up all their medical bills. I have visited them at the hospital to ascertain their recovery rate. I have also dispatched 50 additional medical doctors to the hospital to ensure that they have access to the best medical care possible. Indeed, all hands must be on deck to save more lives.

At this juncture, I want to thank the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari who called me last night from London to commiserate with Ndi Anambra on this tragic incident. I must also thank the Acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo who also called last night to condole with us. My gratitude goes to everyone who has called my Team and I to say a soothing word since this incident happened. Your calls have re-affirmed my belief that we are one people under God! It has strengthened my faith in the unity of this country.

Anambra State has survived incredible odds in our modest history. This too shall pass!

God bless Anambra State
God Bless Nigeria
Thank you
Dalunu!
Willie Obiano
Governor

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THE 1960POST: Massive Killings At Ozubulu Catholic Church Anambra - Governor Chief Willie Obiano Reacts
Massive Killings At Ozubulu Catholic Church Anambra - Governor Chief Willie Obiano Reacts
Massive Killings At Ozubulu Catholic Church Anambra Governor of Anambra state Chief Willie Obiano Reacts
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