Eight people were killed and eighteen others injured on Sunday morning during an attack on Saint Philips Catholic Church in Ozubulu town, Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra state, the Nigerian police said in a statement.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr Garba Umar, said the attack was carried out by one gunman who is an indigene of the area, a dismissal of earlier reports that there were many gunmen who might have been sent by Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria.
According to online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, Ozubulu’s neighbouring towns are Nnewi, Ukpor, Ihembosi, Okija and Oraifite. It is a predominantly Christian town although there exists a few people who still worship the towns “Akpu” deity. The town has four major villages; Amakwa, Egbema, Eziora, and Nza.
The attacker was speaking clean Igbo language as he fired at worshippers, the police boss said, according to The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN. No arrest has been made.
“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 Ozubulu 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 was quoted by NAN as saying.
The police already learnt that the attack followed a quarrel between two natives of Ozubulu residing overseas.
Full statement of the Police:
The state’s Commissioner of Police, CP Garba Umar, has warned that the command will leave no stone unturned in fishing out the shooters at St Philip’s Catholic Church Amakwa Ozubul.
Unknown gunmen had today Sunday, 6th August 2017 entered the church, while the mass was going on and shot at worshipers.
Following a distress call, men of the police force rushed there and are presently rescuing the worshippers.
The hospital authority has confirmed 8 persons dead,and 18 injured. The command assures ndi Anambra that the police is on top of the situation and will fish out the perpetrators soon.
Intelligence report/Preliminary investigation proved that it is a fight between the two sons of the community living outside Nigeria that caused the incident,because one of them built the church which the incident happened. It is sacrilegious but for now,is still premature to disclose the identities, we will brief the public after investigation is concluded.
Commissioner Umar commiserates with all those who lost their loved ones the act and pledges that the command would not rest on its oars until perpetrators are brought to book.
However, citizens are advised to be vigilant and report suspicions movements and actions in their locality.
PPRO ANAMBRA STATE POLICE COMMAND