Anambra church killings: Gov., Reps, labour, others condemn killings
….Say it’s barbaric, inhuman, satanic
By Our Reporters
The killing of worshippers at St. Philips Catholic, Amakwa Ozulubu community in Ekwusigo Local Government Area in Anambra State, has continued to generate more condemnation.
Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has commiserated with the Catholic Church in Nigeria, the government and people of Anambra State as well as families of victims of the church shooting yesterday in Ozubulu, describing the killers as wicked and devilish.
In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi, Fayose called on the police and other security agencies to carry out thorough investigations on the killings with a view to bringing the perpetrators to book.
The governor said: “Killing fellow human beings is devilish, not to talk of killings in the house of God. I condemn the Ozubulu murder in its entirety. It is time for us as a nation to have another look at our moral values. Where did we get it so wrong that we now kill one another at will?
“Boko Haram killings in the North East, Badoo killings in Lagos, Fulani herdsmen killings across the country, ritual killings everywhere, and now drug war, what’s wrong with us as a people? Why is it that we no longer value human life? Methinks there is urgent need for leaders of this country to take the issue of moral values reorientation of the citizens seriously.”
The South-East Caucus in the House of the Representatives described the killing of parishioners at St. Philips Catholic Church as wicked and unacceptable.
Leader of the caucus, Chukwuka Onyema, in a personally signed statement issued in Abuja, called on security agencies to ensure that all those connected to the heinous crime are quickly apprehended and charged to court.
Onyema, who is also the Deputy Minority Leader of the House, stressed that, “the devilish and unwholesome murder of innocent worshippers in a church, where they went to seek the face of God, is highly reprehensible and is a case that must be properly investigated to speedily restore the people’s confidence of their safety.”
The lawmaker, on behalf of the caucus, commiserated with the families of the deceased and prayed for quick recovery of the victims.
He sought that all those who could assist the security agencies with information to solve the crime should do so in honour of the dead and to keep the community safe.
Onyema equally extended his condolences to the government of Anambra State, Nigeria and the Catholic Church over the sad and unfortunate incident.
Alarmed by the killings, organised labour and other groups such IPOB and CLO, among others, have demanded that the culprits should be brought to book.
In separate statements, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) urged security operatives to thoroughly investigate the incident in order to uncover the perpetrators.
NLC president, Ayuba Wabba, said the massacre was shocking, bizarre and reprehensible, and represented a descent into the pit of hell.
“Places of worship quite often in decent conflicts are sanctuaries. What makes this attack more confounding is the fact that Ozubulu is far removed from any known theatre of conflict at the moment and has had little or no history of violent conflict,” he said.
Wabba was dumbfounded by the attack and said that it was animalistic, cowardly and shameful. He called for steps by security forces to bring the perpetrators to book.
He also expressed the union’s condolences to the families of the victims, the Catholic Church, Governor Willie Obiano and the people of Anambra State.
While urging security agencies to step up security in and around places of worship, the labour leader similarly urged worshippers to take the initiative of securing their premises.
The TUC, in its statement jointly signed by the president, Bobboi Bala Kaigama, and Secretary-General, Musa-Lawal Ozidi, said the shooting should be seen beyond a mere attack.
“This is a bad signal, considering the fact that campaigns and elections in the state will commence soon. This development is unfortunate and a testimony to the fact that the security operatives have so much work to do before and after the elections. We must consider that the incident portrays the country in bad light before the international community. It is heartbreaking that some Nigerians no longer have regard for human life,” the TUC said.
It called on government at all levels to focus on good governance and job creation, as they remain the only way the nation can get most of the youths reasonably engaged.
The NUPENG president, Igwe Achese, stating that the killing was one too many, noted that the murder of innocent worshippers in a house of God was a national disgrace and embarrassment, as if Nigerians have no fear of God at heart.
He said NUPENG was worried that people could be so wicked as to bring settle personal scores and cause mayhem in the house of God.
Achese charged the Federal Government to be more proactive and re-strategise for more intelligence and rapid response to such incidents in order to avert disasters.
He reiterated that one of the major challenges facing the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was the issue of security, where it seems that human life no longer has any meaning.
“We want all hands to be on deck as security matter is everybody’s business, we also call on the International Police (Interpol) to help in bringing sponsors of such killings to face the music,” he said.
President of NUF and SNPM, Mr. Augustine Chukwudum, described the killings as barbaric, satanic, sacrilegious and inhuman such that it called for sober reflection due to the level of moral decay in the society.
“It is satanic and shows that people no longer fear God; this is time for sober reflection, our society has decayed to the extent that moral has vanish. What on earth will provoke people going to the house of God to kill? We hereby call on the police to arrest those involved in this genocide against God and humanity, they will never go unpunished, no matter how connected they are, the full wrath of justice must be enforced.
“This kind of thing shall not be treated in the Nigerian way that is full of corruption. The federal and state governments must give the victims a befitting burial and the families fully compensated with a minimum of N20 million each because it the duty of the government to protect life and property,” Chukwudum said.
In his reaction, the Anambra State chapter chairman of the CLO, Comrade Vincent Ezekwueme, shad that the attack was a devilish and barbaric terror attack, that was not only anathema but despicable, inhuman, most painful and an act of terrorism.
Ezekwueme called on security agents to fish out the culprits and make them face the wrath of law.
“I wish to commiserate with the families of the bereaved, Bishop Hillary Okeke and St. Philips Catholic Church and Ozulubu community, may God forgive the deceased and accept their souls into His Kingdom,” he said.
Nigeria Ethnic Nationalities Youth Leaders Forum (NENYLF) described it as wicked. In a statement signed by the acting national chairman of the forum, Imoh Okoko, in Abuja, the group said that the attackers could have sought other lawful ways of resolving their differences instead of taking their grievances to the church.
“We hereby condemn this high level of killings of innocent worshipers in the sanctuary of the Almighty God, which is supposed to be a sacred place and a refuge to all manner of people who enter it,” he said.
The invaders of the church have shamelessly turned the House of God into the theatre of war which is against the Christian faith no matter the provocation.
“Irrespective of what must have transpired in their business environment, there are law enforcement agents as well as law court to handle such grievances, the killers should have sought legal means rather than embark on mass murder in the church. It is indeed a terror attack on the defenceless Christians in their holy place of worship.”
Also in his reaction, the state Chairman of CLO, Vincent Ezekwueme said the attack was not only anathema but despicable, most painful and act of terrorism.
He called on security agents to fish out the culprits and make them face the wrath of law.
Also, the United Progressives Party (UPP) National Chairman, Chief Chekwas Okorie urged the Catholic faithful, and indeed, all Christians in Ozubulu to remain prayerful, courageous and resolute in their service to God and humanity, assuring that their labour in the vineyard of the Lord will not be in vain.
“We urge security agents to fish out the assailants and their sponsors and bring them to book to serve as a deterrent to those who would contemplate this heinous crime against fellow compatriots. This madness must stop,” Okorie said.
From Izon Ware in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide, in a statement by its president, Pereotubo Roland oweilaemi expressed shock at the attack that reportedly led to the death of 11 persons.
“It is sad that human life has become so worthless in the sight of some of our fellow humans that they now kill people like flies.”
“Our heartfelt empathy goes out to the families of the victims, the people of Ozubulu, Anambra State and the entire Igbo nation over this classic case of man’s inhumanity to fellow men at a time when the country is grappling with terrorism.
“No individual or group should be allowed to get away with taking the lives of their fellow humans. Until we restore the dignity and sanctity of human life, this country will drift into anarchy”.
“We are therefore calling on the Nigerian security agencies, the Anambra Government, the Federal Government and the people of Ozubulu to leave no stone unturned until the perpetrators of this wicked massacre are fished out and punished for their evil crimes.” He said.
Also speaking, a Niger Delta right activist, Sheriff Mulade said the killing has portrayed the nation in bad light, noting that the only saving grace to redeem the image of the country was to ensure that the incident was not swept under the carpet.
Mulade who is the National Coordinator of Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ) condoled relations of the victims and those injured and commended the Governor of Anambra State, willie Obiano for promising to foot the medical bills of those injured.