By Nkerumwen Cosmas
Shocked worshippers and the police outside church premises after the attack
President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President Dr. AbubakarSaraki, his deputy Ike Ekweremadu and the Peoples Democratic Party have condemned the Ozubulu Church’s attack on Sunday, in which 11 people were killed and 18 injured.
A gunman reportedly killed the worshippers early on Sunday at St. Philips Catholic Church, Umuezekwe, Ofufe, Amakwa Village in Ozubulu, Ekwusigo Located Government Area.
Buhari described the incident as “an appalling crime against humanity and unspeakable sacrilege.”
The President expressed his grief in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Sunday.
Buhari said that “there was no justification whatsoever to target Church worshippers and kill them in cold blood’’.
He said this kind of atrocity “plumbs the depth of depravity and extreme cruelty of the kind that words cannot adequately express’’.
According to the President, there is no religion that does not lay constant emphasis on the sanctity of life, and that “all Nigerians must rise up and speak with one voice against these remorseless evil men’’.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki stated that the killing of worshippers represents the purest kind of evil, and the security services must not stop until the perpetrators are brought to justice.
“Today, my heart goes out to Nigeria’s Christian community, Governor Willy Obiano, the people of Anambra State, and the families of the victims and the survivors of this terrible massacre,” the Senate President said, “This brutal act of attacking innocent and unsuspecting worshippers represents the purest kind of evil.
“Our security forces must not stop until everyone involved in the orchestration and execution of today’s massacre in St. Philip’s Catholic Church, Anambra are brought to book by the strong arm of justice.
“The Senate will continue to offer any form of necessary assistance in this endeavor, because today, all of us, as Nigerians have been attacked by this senseless act committed by evil people”, Saraki stated.
He further urged security agencies in the country to step up their intelligence activities so as to prevent activities of criminals and also unravel any crime committed against Nigerians by undesirable elements in the society.
The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, also condemned the tragedy and called for the arrest and prosecution of those responsible.
On behalf of the PDP, Mr Dayo Adeyeye, the National Publicity Secretary, National Caretaker Committee on Sunday in Abuja said the party was shocked to receive the news of the attack that led to the killing and injury of many worshipers.
“This invasion is indeed barbaric, sacrilegious and a serious indication that our society is fast degenerating into a state of anomie with total moral collapse and utter disregard for the sanctity of human life.
“We sympathize with the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano and the entire people of the State; and in particular, worshipers of St. Philips Catholic Church and families of the victims.
“It is also a wake-up call for the government to do more in the area of protection of lives and property.”
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in Anambra State Mr Garba Umar, who confirmed the attack and gave the updated figures of casualties as 11 dead and 18 injured, however ruled out the possibility of a terror attack.
He said; “The intelligence report and preliminary investigation showed that the incident was as a result of a feud between two individuals from the same community living outside Nigeria.
“One of the individuals built the church where the shooting occurred; it is definitely not a terrorist attack in the mould of Boko Haram or Fulani herdsmen attack.
“The command will brief the public after investigation is concluded; I commiserate with all those who lost their loved ones in this unfortunate incident.
In a statement, church, in a statement signed by Rev. Hygi Aghaulor, Director of Communications of the Diocese, and available to newsmen, said that the Parish Priest, Rev Fr. Jude Onwuaso escaped unhurt.