UPDATED: Gunman storms Nigerian church, kills eight, injures others – Police

A Church used to illustrate the story
A Church used to illustrate the story

At least eight people were killed at least one armed man on Sunday stormed the St. Philips Catholic Church, Ozubulu in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State, the police have said.

Witnesses initially said the attack was carried out by gunmen, but the police have now clarified it may have been carried out by a lone gunman.

A witness told the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday that the gunmen went into the church during the 5:45 a.m. mass and identified a particular man and shot him.

He said they later went on rampage and shot at the remaining over 100 worshippers.

Several people were killed in the church while other critically injured worshippers died on the way to the Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, Nnewi.

Speaking on the attack, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Garba Umar, said the remains of the dead had been deposited at theNnamdi Azikwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi.

Mr. Umar also said that the injured were taken to the hospital.

He said that preliminary investigations by the police revealed that the attack was carried out by a native of the area.

“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 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 commissioner said information available to police showed that the attacker was speaking undiluted Igbo Language at the time he was firing at worshippers.

Mr. Umar said though no arrest had been made but that the police already learnt that the attack followed a quarrel between two natives of Ozubulu residing overseas.

Describing the act as sacrilegious, he said it was wrong for the perpetrators of the act to extend their quarrel into the church.

He added: “such conduct shows the people behind the act do not fear God.’’

He said the police had launched a manhunt on those behind the act and gave an assurance that everybody behind the act would be brought to justice.

Mr. Umar described any insinuation that the attack was carried out by Boko Haram elements as false and urged the people to go about their normal businesses.

He said the police were on top of the situation.

(NAN)


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  • It is only in Nigeria that a gunman will go on shooting spree, have a field day and the security agency ‘make up’ the identity of such a murderer without apprehending him/her dead or alive.

    • princegab

      No only in Nigeria, i beg to disagree with you.

      • Wale Adegoke

        Engr Chris Okey Enemuo, Labour Party Gubernatorial Aspirant Anambra State was kidnapped yesterday in the evening at Udi on his way from Awka to Enugu.

        • princegab

          I would like to say that it’s unfortunate but what do you expect in our types of situations? An idle man…..
          A hungry man…..

    • Sam

      Go to USA and ask

    • Gibson Bosah

      Get updated

  • maimalari

    May the souls of the faithful departed, rest in Peace

  • aboki

    Very sad indeed!
    Nigeria must unite against shedding innocent blood.
    Terrorism and killing of this type has no geography .
    May their souls REST IN PERFECT PEACE.

  • Emmekus

    Not gunman please. This is Boko Haram attack. The attacker spoke in Igbo and so what? Don’t Igbo people in North speak Hausa? Wouldn’t Hausa children born in Igbo land and now adult Boko haram members speak fluent and “UNDILUTED” Igbo language? Does this Commissioner Umar or whatever think he is speaking to brainless and certificateless people?

    • Man_Enough

      You are right. Speaking Ibo is not enough evidence to assume that the attacker was an Ibo man. However you have not given us any circumstancial reason to think that the attacker is boko haram. All tribes have criminal elements. Open minded approach will help us more in solving this heinous crime.

  • Cindy_T

    Obviously this is a Boko haram and terrorist attack

  • Castro

    This is the time to checkmate boko haram infiltration into Southern Nigeria. This excuse by Nigeria police does not hold water if you go by their past antics. Does any one remember how the same police were making excuses for boko haram when Igbo luxurious passenger buses were bombed in Kano and Kaduna. Police blamed them on exploding welding gas tanks and car batteries which turned out later to be wrong. These are perilous times in Nigeria and every Igbo man/woman should be armed at all times. We should all learn from Israel because we live in a dangerous country.

    • igbo-biafra cowards all month and no action, you will never take responsibility for yourselves.

  • John Dre

    this is boko haram attack not south African guy make no mistaken about this

  • Bejim

    Too much information from the police in too short a time, even without any suspect named or in custody. It appears the police hypothesis was ready even before the attack took place. Poor Nigeria!

  • Oluwole

    (1)….”He said that preliminary investigations by the police revealed that the attack was carried out by a native of the area.

    (2)….“From our findings, it is very clear that the person who carried the attack must be an indigene of the area.

    (3)….“We gathered that worshippers 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.

    (4)…The commissioner said information available to police showed that the attacker was speaking undiluted Igbo Language at the time he was firing at worshippers.

    CONCLUSION
    Statements (1) – (3) represent the MO of Boko Haram and Islamists from Northern Nigeria and Bokohari’s Fulani Herdsmen. Statement (4) is perhaps an afterthought and a desperate attempt by the Commissioner to divert people’s attention from knowing the truth. How can you infer that because the attacker is ALLEGED to have spoken in Igbo dialect then he MUST be Igbo. This is gross mumudity that any intending student of investigative policing should know. Mr Umar is therefore and obstruction to justice in this case and should be redeployed immediately. An Igbo man should immediately be sent to head the investigations otherwise the truth will never be known. If Abiola, Bola Ige etc can be killed and the matter covered up why not innocent parishioners?

  • Dx

    15 dead not 8. Premium Times should for once be honest about statistics. Be unbiased!
    Even the caption of the story is weird. Is it “…gunman storms Nigerian Church…” OR “….gunman storms Biafran Church”?

  • Alex

    “On top of of the situation”that’s means case close.

  • Imam OLODO

    Commisioner Umar says “The attack followed a quarrel between two natives of Ozubulu residing overseas.”


    So when two natives quarrel abroad, a gunman with blag flag of Boko haram and ISIS goes to Biafra Republic Church and opens fire on worshipers and not the country home of any of the two people who quarreled. Haba! Imam OLODO’s people are working wonders. The other day they said my oil in Warri and gas in Bonny belong to the North. And Nigerians condone these senseless utterances. Umar should be arrested without delay. He is a suspect in this attack.

  • Riot50000

    Blame the governor. Boko haram has made it to town.

  • Frank Bassey

    …and ex-Pastor or if you like, Fake Pastor Osininbinde will not address the nation of Nigeria on this brutal, deliberate and provocative attack on Biafra Zionist Republic. Only if Biafra were a country this would never have happened at all. In the 3,527 years of Igbo history there has never been any Igbo attack another Igbo in a place of worship…not even at a local juju shrine. The Igbo culture forbids such. Without doubt, the killings have begun. Who knows whether Niger Delta will be the next target and they will tell us two men quarreled over Palm wine the previous day.

    • Soon we will find out how great this fake landlocked would be.
      Osinbajo has nothing to address the nation about, kanu is your default master.

    • Remi

      Frank

      This is no time to be scoring cheap and unproven political
      points.

      If it is indeed true that in
      over three thousand years of Igbo history, there had never been any attack
      in any place of worship, that only makes an attack improbable, but not impossible,
      especially nowadays when we worship and venerate money, far better than we do
      God and positive virtues. However, I am aware that not too long ago,
      worshippers were attacked at Rev. Fr. Mbaka’s Adoration Ministries Worship
      Grounds, right there in Igbo land.

      I first heard about this attack from a Radio Biafra
      broadcast on the IPOB website, and was dubious about the slant given to the
      attack by the broadcast. The slant,
      which by the way, is similar to yours, constrained
      me to seek out the news from other sources.
      All the other sources that I consulted, and which relied on eye witness
      accounts, are agreed on the fact that the attack was carried out by a lone gun
      man, who first identified his victim before gunning him down, was speaking in
      impeccable “local” Igbo during the attack and his escape was facilitated by someone
      waiting outside in a getaway vehicle. Boko Haram (BH) and Fulani herdsmen (FH) do not operate alone, they often attack
      en-masse; neither do they use get away cars – a method more consistent with
      hired assassins. In order to avoid
      detection, BH and FH tend to attack isolated, frontier settlements, where they can mass attack and
      melt back into the bushes in a neighbouring State, where they can easily blend with
      the populace or their “innocent” compatriots. Hence it will be foolhardy of
      them to attack deep inside Anambra State as they purportedly did in this case. The
      attacker was said to be speaking impeccable “local” Igbo dialect and he was said
      to have first identified his victim,
      before gunning him down, which suggests that he is a local, who came after a particular person. His reported choice of dressing – black –
      also suggests something about him, his motive & his associations.

      You may ask me, why attack his victim in a Church & subsequently,
      turn on other innocent worshippers? Apparently,
      the planners of this attack must have been tracking their victim and had
      probably observed that the Church was the weakest link in his security chain.
      Certainly, the attacker was high on something prior to the attack, hence the
      sanctity of the Church would not have mattered to him and he needed to sow confusion
      and panic – by intimidating the worshippers and deter any of them from trying
      to play brave – in order to be able to get away.

      Yes, it is indeed true that the polity (in Nigeria) is
      heated up, and some Igbos expect a conflagration, however, that is due more to
      a group of mad men / women responding to the provocations of another set of mad
      men / women. The northern mad men /
      women are only suggesting that they might visit violence on Igbos in the north,
      after a certain date, and not outside it. They will be foolhardy to start
      visiting violence on Igbos in their own land, as they are unlikely to get away
      with it , as easily as the lone gunman did on this occasion.

      May the souls of the departed rest in perfect peace and may God, in his
      infinite mercy, console the immediate, and wider community, of Anambra State.

      Regards

    • Man_Enough

      Is your memory that short or you think others have forgotten? IPOB attacked Gov. Obiano and his entourage in the church. Did they hire boko haram operatives?

      • Arabakpura

        IPOB chastised those that went to the church to demonstrate against Obiano! Check the newspapers, they disclaimed them!

        • Man_Enough

          At least those that went to the church on the ill motivated mission are Ibos. But Frank Bassey wants to force it down my throat that “In the 3,527 years of Igbo history there has never been any Igbo attack another Igbo in a place of worship…not even at a local juju shrine”. That is what I am contesting.

  • Abdussalami Yaro

    No, this is IBO-HARAM attack.

  • Remi

    Atrocious, Dastardly, Irresponsible, Reprehensible and
    utterly, utterly Condemnable. If we have differences that we must settle this
    way, why not do it outside the sanctity of the Church?

    May the innocent soul of our dear departed compatriots Rest in Perfect Peace. May God console, as he
    only can best do, the bereaved community, and Anambra State, at this hard and trying time.