By JAMES EZEMA
Gunmen on Sunday stormed St. Philips Catholic Church, Ozubulu in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra, killing some of the worshipers.
According to sources in the area, the gunmen went into the church during the 5:45 a.m. mass and identified a particular man and shot him.
He said that they later went on rampage and shot at the remaining worshipers numbering over 100 and leaving scores of people killed in the church, while some other critically injured worshipers died on the way to the Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, Nnewi.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Garba Umar, confirmed the incident.
Police claimed that 8 worshipers were killed, while 18 others were injured, a figure that has remained contentious.
The State Commissioner of Police, said the remains of the dead had been deposited at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, while the injured are receiving medical attention.
Umar also said investigations showed that the attack was executed by a native.
“From our findings, it is very clear that the person who carried the attack must be an indigene of the area.
“We gathered that worshipers 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 Police Commissioner also stated that they 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.
The state governor, Chief Willie Obiano, who condoled with victims of the church shooting, stormed the scene to ascertain the level of damage and sympathize with the people.
Speaking at the Church premises, the governor also disclosed 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,” Obiano said.
The deeply saddened governor asked the people to go about their businesses without fear or panic, noting that this isolated case of security breech 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 where the injured are being treated.
He thanked the over 50 doctors who were attending to the injured. He also assured families of the victims that all medical bills will be taken care of by the State Government.