Anambra church shooting: Death toll rises, police confirm attack linked to Igbos living abroad

Blood stains at the scene of the deadly shooting at St. Philip's Catholic Church, where an unknown gunman killed 11 persons and injured 18 others during 7:30 am church service in Umuezekwe Ofufe Amakwa community of Ozubulu, Ekwusigo LGA of Anambra on Sunday (6/8/17).

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Blood stains at the scene of the deadly shooting at St. Philip's Catholic Church, where an unknown gunman killed 11 persons and injured 18 others during 7:30 am church service in Umuezekwe Ofufe Amakwa community of Ozubulu, Ekwusigo LGA of Anambra on Sunday (6/8/17). 04074/6/8/2017/NAN-ENUGU/JAU/NAN

The death toll in an attack on worshippers in a Catholic Church has increased to 11, the police have said.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Garba Umar, who provided the update said that the command would leave no turn unturned to bring the attackers to justice.

Mr. Umar, who spoke at a news conference in Awka on Sunday, gave the updated figures of casualties as 11 dead and 18 injured.

He also confirmed that the attack was mainly linked to a feud between some Igbos living abroad.

He ruled out the possibility of a terror attack, and spoke about an isolated feud between individuals in the community.

He said that the command had invited some suspects who would be useful to the investigation.

The police chief advised residents to go about their lawful businesses, assuring them that churches and public places were safe.

“At about 6.30 a.m. today, Aug. 6, I got a distress call that gunmen had invaded and shot at worshippers at St. Philips Catholic Church, Umuezekwe, Ofufe, Amakwa Village in Ozubulu, Ekwusigo Located Government Area.

“As a result, I, the Commissioner of Police, led my operatives immediately to the scene to rescue worshippers.

“The command, under my watch, will leave no stone unturned in locating and prosecuting those behind the massacre of innocent worshippers.

“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.

“I also encourage `ndi’ Anambra to be vigilant and to promptly report suspicious movements or strange observation of persons and actions in their localities to the security agencies,” Mr. Umar said.

In its reaction, the Catholic Diocese of Nnewi, Anambra, described Sunday’s attack as regrettable.

The church, in a statement signed by Hygi Aghaulor, Director of Communications of the Diocese, and available to journalists, said that the Parish Priest, Jude Onwuaso escaped unhurt.

He described the act as a sign of loss of what is sacred and consoled the families of victims of the attack.

“It is regrettable that our people are more and more losing a sense of what is sacred.

“What on earth would make people open fire on innocent unarmed worshippers including children and women on a Sunday morning?

“We condemn this ungodly act in its totality; we pray Almighty God to console the families affected and assure them that our hearts are with them as we pray for the quick recovery of the wounded.

“For the entire parishioners, we call on them not to be discouraged in their usual practice of faith.

“It is when the forces of darkness attempt to overshadow goodness that the light of God shines even brighter than ever just as it happened on Easter Sunday.

“Evil may make attempts but God and goodness will always triumph; we call on the good people to continue to pray for the deceased worshippers and their families,” Mr. Aghaulor stated.


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  • Dan_Arewa

    Is these called Christian TERRORIST attack ?

    • Bo Biz

      Assuming but not conceding that this barbaric slaughter of innocent worshipers was carried out by a christian for whatever personal reasons,it remains a fact that the perpetrator(s) never proclaimed killing for Jesus Christ or God unlike islamic terrorists that kill in the name of allah or in defence of mohahemd..

      • Dan maikoko

        In every situation where muslims are involved in terror attacks, there are mainly two reasons liberation of their land from invaders or establishment of what they believed to be sharia law. They dont kill for Allah neither do they kill for the prophet.

        • Bo Biz

          Islamic terrorists proudly proclaim defence of allah and mohamed as the sole reason for all their barbaric killings and terrorist acts.

          • Dogo

            @ Bo Biz… From all what we heard, is the usual Igbo beef between the same community people that was carried over all the way from abroad. It is very clear that is an Igbo man attacking another Igbo man and I don’t see how you are trying to drag Islam into this. Bros just deal with the reality and leave Islam out of it. This is the same reason why most igbos don’t even build or acquire property in the east. Go and see their (the rich and successful igbos) assets in Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Abuja and other places but not in the east because they know their Igbo counterparts are vultures and they will so eat them raw because of the beef for success that so runs in their blood….

          • Bo Biz

            Jesus wept ! The barbaric act is not only a sacrilege but very condemnable.I did not ascribe it to Islam in any way whatsoever,but only reacted to @Dan Ali ,an islamic terrorist,that called the abominable act quote, “a Christian Terrorist”.
            I only corrected the said terrorist Dan Arewa,that whoever carried out the act did NOT proclaim Christ as the reason for slaughtering innocent worshippers,and therefore his terrorist act can’t be erroneously described as a Christian Terrorist. I am not a Christian,but I have to say the truth.

      • Dan_Arewa

        Is the attacker a Muslim?
        If not, he is a Chiristain Terrorist.
        May Allah protect us from all types of TERRORIST activities. Ameen.

        • Bo Biz

          This barbaric killing of innocent worshipers is an act of terror,but certainly not a christian terrorist act because there is not even a mute mention that the killer(s) claimed to be fighting for and /or in defence of Christ.
          Islamic terrorists proudly proclaim defence of allah and mohamed as the sole reason for all their barbaric killings and terrorist acts.

          • Dan_Arewa

            Mr Aboki, stop dragging the issue. Is he a Christian?
            If yes, he is a TERRORIST.

          • Bo Biz

            @Dan Arewa,I’m NOT Mr. Aboki and caution you not to address me as such. What do you call armed robbers and kidnappers terrorizing people in Abuja,Lagos,or Kano?

          • Dan_Arewa

            Mr Aboki, you didn’t answer my first question. Why are you trying to run from it?

        • Opekete

          I agree with you. Terrorism is not synonymous with a particular religion although it may be common with one than the others. However terrorism is terrorism either by Muslim or Christian or traditionalist. People who butcher human being for money rituals are terrorists. So let us call a spade what it is.

  • Yego V

    If the report is eventually confirmed as true, this will be very sad to the Christiandom and a big blow to the Igbo community and agitation for Biafra

    • So oju abe niko

      Assuming the CP’s claim is confirmed it is not going to be a blow to the agitation for Biafra as you thought. Christians killing Christains, Igbos killing Igbos, Yorubas killing Yorubas, etc, is not new – it is only a problem is if it is rampant, but that is not the case here. By the way I’m not a Biafran sympathizer

      • Yego V

        You are right about other killings. I’m saying its a problem to Biafra agitation for the simple reason that this will be more of a distraction from their course. Neither am I a sympathizer.

  • AFRICANER

    Wait a minute? You have a “Garbar Umah” as your police commisioner in that state?

    You got to be serious! Then, you will have things like this happening in your state.

    Nobody shoots up a church unless they hate a church.

  • Man_Enough

    The saying is sure! “He who kills by the sword will die by the sword”. Nothing in human sensibilities can justify this barbarism.

  • Amir

    This is the danger of using drug money to build churches which spiritually only expands the devils kingdom of darkness. Pastors and Priests should ask where the money from ‘demonic’ philanthropists are coming from.

  • Bihari Osinbajo D best

    If you build your house with devil money, be rest assure one day you will receive devil as visitor. Thank God is not Herdsmen Biafra bigot for open mouth. Now is brother to brother, they kept quiet

  • bigboss

    It’s a sad day in Nigeria’s history. It was even more saddening that the Nigerian government did not even issue a statement as regards what happened in Anambra state this morning on time. Around 8:30 pm tonight when Mr. Adesina the special adviser to president Buhari on media was interviewed on channels television on the programme Sunday politics, he was asked about his opinion on what happened in Anambra this morning he said the presidency will issue a statement on it very soon. That was about 12 hours after the incident took place. It’s like we don’t value the lives of people any longer as a nation. With this happening I think the clamour for state police will be made more strongly because I can’t see how the state commissioner of police being a northerner can effectively police a state in the South East.

    • Lakeside

      Keep insinuating buddy. “Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the attack, describing the incident as “an appalling crime against humanity and unspeakable sacrilege,” his office said.
      Buhari said “there was no justification whatsoever to target church worshippers and kill them in cold blood.” AFP via Yahoo News.

      • bigboss

        I don’t understand what you meant by insinuating buddy. I tried to be as civil as much as possible when making comments and everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. I don’t think we need to go personal but to try and address issues objectively as much much as possible. I heard president Buhari’s comments too but at what time did he make the comments?

  • AFRICANER

    This will require an independent investigation; perhaps the FBI! As far as Buhari populated the security apparatus with his kinsmen, the Police and Army cannot be trusted to handle Christian related matters. This to me, unfortunately, seems to be the opening salvo to the coming WAR between Muslims and Christians in Nigeria. There is NO way Igbos can come from abroad to shoot up a church!

    And how can Mr. Umar make such a determination without concluding an investigation. BIAS and Bull!

    • Lakeside

      @ Africaner I am so surprised at your post especially with your level of your intelligence and some of the posts that you normally make on this forum. Man you let me down big time by these two posts you made by suspecting anyone other than Igbo behind this dastardly act. ‘Local rights activist Emeka Umeagbalasi said his information about the motive largely concurred with that of the police version.’ That is taken from AFP news.

      • AFRICANER

        No, Igbos did not commit this heinous crime.

        The signature is there. Forensically speaking, this is a hateful religious crime, from the usual suspects.

        The northern fulani/Hausa consider “Kworruption” as a more serious crime than killing their fellow human beings en mass; terrorism like this come from them.

        The police is a joke as far as naming ethnic groups without naming the suspect, especially within a few hours of the incident.

        • Lakeside

          IBB may have started state assassination but Igbos started individual assassination in Nigeria. One thing to keep in mind is that IBB’s wife was Igbo. Just saying.

  • AFRICANER

    All IGBO Politicians at both local, and Federal level should be ashamed of yourselves. To let Abokis beat you like this. You don’t even have LOCAL POLICE AUTHORITY! You have Awusa police chiefs, and entire apparatus have you surrounded, and you know these people are MORTAL ENEMIES! You leave your people VULNERABLE FOR SLAUGHTER at any moment!
    SHAME ON YOU ALL!!!!!

  • Justice Equity

    It is because of incidences such as this that patriotic citizens are calling on buhari to show patriotism and love for Nigeria by resigning his position as the president and C in C so that Nigerians can hold osibanjo accountable to his duties when such a failure of leadership occurs,buharis insistence on holding on to power when his health and mental conditions can not allow him to function anymore, is a big set back to governance in Nigeria.
    Buhari is been paid by Nigerians to guarantee security of lives and properties of Nigerian citizens, but buhari had failed to use the resources placed at his disposal to do his job ,Nigerians are been mowed down from the east,west,north and south ,and yet the man who campaigned with provision of effective security to Nigerians,and was voted based on his campaign promises ,which he used as his selling point, is no where to be found.
    It is the failure of buhari to provide security to this innocent Nigerians that is at the root cause of their untimely death, whether they were murdered by their traditional ruler,father, mother, Hausa,Fulani or Yoruba etc is immaterial.
    Buhari should be ashamed that since 2015 may 29,more Nigerians have been murdered in cold blood by murderers ,than at any other time in history.
    Buhari have shamelessly failed on economy, food security, power, infrastructure, maintenance of peace, unity and security of lives and properties. Therefore he should show that he is a man of integrity by resigning so that more competent Nigerians can show him how to lead.
    It should be an act of wickedness, lack of integrity, lack of patriotism, and shamelessness for buhari to insist on hanging on the seat of power when Nigerians are facing the worst of calamities, pain,hunger, sorrow, death ,as the result of buharis incompetence and lack of leadership credentials.
    May God give buhari grace to resign so that Nigerians shall live in peace, progress, unity ,love ,safety and prosperity again.

    • Enemona

      You guys are heartless, you politicise even the death of innocent people. Shame!

      • Yego V

        You may as well be as wicked as Buhari. Indicate one sentence that Justice Equality said that’s false.

      • George

        God will punish you as He has punished Buhari

      • Justice Equity

        Politicise every thing really?, you forgotten so quick,whose responsibilities is it to protect those innocent citizens from the killers.
        What a shameless, heartless evil that you are. So the victims must be blamed for their death and not the man who collected huge billions to effectively secure Nigerians.

    • tunde008

      Can you hear your self very well? This is why nobody respect the Igbo in Nigeria.Just because you supported GEJ and lost woefully, everything bad that happens is now caused by Buhari.I am surprised you did not say the fulani herdsmen committed this heinous crime in ozubulu

      • George

        Oh yes because everything bad was blamed on GEJ.

        You are confused more than Tinubu.

      • Justice Equity

        You are such a daft,shame on you,you are still celebrating election that was conducted 30 months ago when another election is less than 20 months away, what a f00l that you are.when reasonable patriots are talking about serious issues you are showing how mentally deranged that you are.
        For Gods sake,there was election in 2011 and 2015,and there is going to be another before may 2019,those who won in 2015 ,lost in 2011 and those that won in 2011 lost in 2015.only irresponsible f00ls will continue to engage in irresponsible triumphantism 3 years down a four years term election instead of talking about what they have used their victory to accomplish.
        You are talking about respecting igbos in Nigeria, who is expecting respect from a hate ,jealousy, envious, sadistic ,treacherous, mischievous adversary like you,it would be f00lish for Joseph to expect respect from his envious brethren who were bent of destroying him because of Gods grace upon him,it would be out of place for Esau to respect Jacob or for Cain to respect Abel.
        No body expected you to respect or regard a people you are living in constant envy ,jealousy and hate against, for the uncommon grace of God upon them.

    • Truthometer

      Up Biafraud! The new banana republic is going to be very interesting.

      • Justice Equity

        That is one of the reasons the proponents of Biafra are calling Nigeria a zoo,it is a shame that buhari can not guarantee the security of the citizens of Nigeria, whom he campaigned to effectively secure. What a failure of responsibilities, what a shame.

        • Usher- Join The Revolution

          So events like this don’t happen anywhere else in the world?

    • West

      You surely need serious help.

      • Justice Equity

        For saying the truth?, please show where my comments are out place.

  • Justice Equity

    You guys are impossible, so because two brothers as you concluded even without investigation ,are at disagreement, so the government should fold her hands and allow their disagreement to now waste innocent lives of citizens of Nigeria.
    You called yourself a lawyer, is that what they thought you in school, when buhari promised in his campaigns to effectively secure Nigerians what did he mean,why are you guys so heartless ,to you because the lives of those your fathers told you to hate is involved, there the victims must be blamed.
    Why then is buhari spending fortunes to fight boko haram in the northeast, are they not kanuri killing themselves for their religious misunderstanding, so you have right to go to your brothers church and kill worshipers because you have business disagreement with your brother,what then is the role of the chief security officers.
    Because buhari is failing in his responsibilities, the blame game must shift away from him to the victims of his calamitous ineptitude.are you aware that buhari takes billions of Nigeria resources every month in the name of security vote,what is those resources supposed to be used for.
    May God allow you to taste and feel how painful it is to lose your loved ones in such a terrible way.

  • George

    What on earth that made a person such as Umar to be a commissioner in Igbo land. Why not in Borno or sokoto.

    Nigeria is a silly arrangement where a half dead mumu is made to oversees the security of another region.

    • suleiman

      George,
      Common decency behooves on you to sympathize with the victims rather than pouring venom on President Buhari. What has he got to do with posting police officers? And must the police commissioner be an Igbo Man to perform his duties? What is wrong with you Nigerians trivializing serious matters? What has happened to our humanness? Such tribalistic and primitive view of life have no space in this forum. Please learn what civilized people do and say!

    • thusspokez

      I can’t believe that Neanderthals like you still roam the earth. Why don’t you go back to that age when your people wore grass skirts, live in shacks, and roam the jungle?

    • tunde008

      He was made commissiooner so that you can not blame the state governor of using him to intimidate fellow Igbos. Your sense of politics in Nigeria is very low.

  • George

    You are silly so the balls didn’t stop on the president table again but it was under GEJ.

    iF you dead Yoruba can’t blame this on Buhari so why blaming GEJ for BOKO HARAM.

    God will punish you as He has punished TINUBU.

  • Justice Equity

    Mr soyemi if you are saying that you serve God,I wonder the kind of god that you serve honestly, I expected that if have the spirit of God coupled with your training as a lawyer, you should have been thoroughly furnished with divine wisdom and constitutional wisdom to make righteous judgment on every issue without been influenced with your genetic hate ,ethnic and clannish bigotry.
    For the sake of the spirit of grace, how can you totally agree with the police who neither were at the scene of the incident, have not yet made any arrest ,but have already told you the conclusions of an investigation that is yet to commence.
    If this had happened to your church, community or family members, would you have agreed with this conclusions as a lawyer.
    Again is it right in your own eyes that the security of Nigeria should abandon citizens to the murderous tendencies of the members of their families, clan,communities or ethnic group ,is OK to now blame lagosians,school authorities,academic staff,igbonala communities and those kidnapped children for the kidnapped school children of igbonala secondary school in Lagos recently. Why didn’t you blame chibok communities, school authorities or boko haram for the kidnapped chibok girls ,why didn’t you blame ikorodu community or victims of badoo attacks for being killed.
    I sometimes shudder that a generation should continue with a terrible worldly cunning craftiness, deception, betrayal and hate overwhelmed soul even after been washed with the immaculate blood of the Lamb.
    Mr soyemi,if you are a Christian and a follower of the way,then you are a hypocrite in the mould of demas .
    Buhari is the chief security officer of this nation,he collects huge resources to effectively secure Nigerians, if Nigerians for whom he campaigned to effectively secure are been killed at every turn, no matter who is doing the killing, no matter the reasons for the killing, buhari should either take responsibilities or resign.

  • Justice Equity

    The news report clearly show that two “brothers” are fighting a deadly war in their local church by proxy, whilst both, and immediate families, are ensconced safely abroad. ….blah blah blah,
    Mr soyemi demas ,Judas Iscariot, did you say that you believed in God?,how utterly depraved is your soul, where did you read the report you just quoted? ,how horribly terrible would your hate overwhelmed generation be.
    Even if the account that two citizens of the same community were having misunderstanding about business transactions ,how could that then transcend to your hateful awful statement that two brothers were fighting deadly wars in their local church by proxy, what kind of education did you receive ,or is it an expression of your deep seated satanic hate bigotry against ibos.
    You are such a horrible retard for lying against the dead so shamelessly just to exonerate buharis fundamental leadership failures. Shame on you.

  • Usher- Join The Revolution

    Wasting your time with this guys! All we do is to ignore them and move on.