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Anambra church massacre: Repent or perish, Bishop tells perpetrators •Presidential delegation lands in Ozubulu

By Pamela Eboh. Awka on 13/08/2017

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•The Presidential delegation in Ozubulu on Saturday. Photo: Pamela Eboh
•The Presidential delegation in Ozubulu on Saturday. Photo: Pamela Eboh

The Catholic Bishop of Nnewi Diocese, Most Reverend Hilary Okeke on Saturday called on the perpetrators of last week’s massacre at St Phillips’ Catholic Church, Ozubulu, Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State to repent, saying that was the only way of averting more disaster in the area.

Addressing a five-man Federal Government delegation led by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, during a courtesy call at the Assumpta Cathedral, Nnewi, the Bishop described the Ozubulu incident as terrible, adding that the only thing that could save the perpetrators of the crime was total repentance.

The Federal Government team  included the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibril; and the Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwuka.

The Bishop noted that the church was already in search of another venue to celebrate Sunday's Mass following the sealing off of St Philip’s Church by the police as reported by the media,

The cleric said: “The parishioners of St. Philips would use another church in the area on Sunday for their worship.

“For me as a Christian, I want those behind this terrible thing to repent totally so as to save their souls because if they don’t repent, more people will be involved.

“While we are not saying that governments should not play their roles by prosecuting those involved, we pray for the perpetrators to repent and accept Christ.”

While urging both the state and Federal Government to intervene and help the affected families,  he said  that the Diocese had set up a fund raising committee to assist the victims.

The cleric also expressed satisfaction with the Federal Government’s concern on the matter, adding  that it had shown that it cared for her citizens, whether in the East, South, West or North.

Ngige, who spoke on behalf of the delegation, assured that the Federal Government would track down the perpetrators of the crime.

He said that President Muhammad Buhari had earlier sent his condolences to the state through the governor.

The Labour  Minister added that the Ozubulu shooting had called for more security and consciousness, and assured that the Federal Government would work modalities to prevent repeat of such incident.

Ngige added: “We felt that the letter was not enough and so the Acting President had to send us to come and commiserate with you, the state and Ozubulu community.”

During the delegation's visit to Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi (NAUTH) where most of the wounded persons were treated, Ngige revealed that the Federal Government’s plan to sponsor any victim that could not be treated there to abroad for adequate treatment.

In his words: “Our mandate is to take abroad those who cannot be treated here. It could have been worse if this hospital is not located here and we thank the CMD (Chief Medical Director), the doctors, nurses and other hospital workers who have been working round the clock to save the lives of victims.”

The CMD of NAUTH, Prof. Anthony Igwegbe, who took the delegation round the wards where the victims were admitted for treatment, said that six of the victims were still at the Orthopedic Trauma Center located at Oba, Idemili South Local Government of the state where the Federal Government delegation also visited.

The state Deputy Governor, Dr Nkem Okeke, who represented Governor Willie Obiano, told the delegation that last Sunday was a sad day for the people of the state, adding that when the incident happened, there was speculation that the Boko Haram insurgents and Fulani herdsmen had struck, but the Governor promptly cleared the air after visiting the scene of the incident.

While assuring that the security of Anambra people and their property was uppermost to Obiano, the Deputy Governor said that the Police and the Department of State Services were still investigating the incident to unravel the attackers.

Source News Express

Posted 13/08/2017 12:49:20 AM

 

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