From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
The Anambra State governor, Chief Willie Obiano has described as sacrilege the attack on a church that resulted in the death of over 20 worshippers in the early hours of Sunday in Ozubulu, Ekwusigo Local Government Area of the state.
During his visit to the scene of the incident, the governor who was visibly shocked at such callous act said it was chilling and sacrilege that worshippers at such alarming number would be killed inside a church.
He also told the crowd he addressed that a preliminary investigation into the matter has revealed that the incident is spillover of fracas between two brothers from Ozubulu resident outside the country.
From Ozubulu, Obiano also visited the emergency unit of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Universty Teaching Hospital in the nearby city of Nnewi to see the victims, especially the wounded ones that are receiving medical attention at the hospital.
At the hospital, he thanked the team of medical personnel attending to the victims and assured that.
Sources from the community said unidentified gunmen had arrived the church in a Lexus Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) during a 5:45 am morning mass when the unsuspecting congregants were listening to a sermon.
All of a sudden, an eyewitness said, three gunmen disembarked from the SUV and stationed themselves at the three main doors leading to the church auditorium as one of them immediately opened fire shooting the worshippers at a close range.
Before the shooting started, the attackers had disconnected the generator supplying electricity to the church to make the place dark and make it impossible for victims to know the direction the attack was coming from.
Some of the victims were brought to the emergency unit of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi while others including the dead were taken to other hospitals around Ozubulu.
As at the time of filing this report, the Chief Medical Director of NAUTH, Professor Anthony Igwegbe said about 21 victims were at the emergency unit receiving treatment while four corpses had been deposited at the hospital’s morgue. He said many people volunteered to donate blood while over 50 doctors were present to handle the victims with varying gunshot wounds as some of them have their abdomen ripped and their intestines gushed out.
After visiting the scene of the incident, Governor Willie Obiano arrived NAUTH and promised that government would take care of the hospital bills of the victims one hundred percent and funeral of those that lost their lives.
Obiano said: “I have gone to the scene of the incident. It is an isolated case of two members of the community living outside the country. Unfortunately they carried it home. And the attackers were sure that the people they wanted were there because they saw their cars parked there in the church. It is very unfortunate. We have never seen a thing like this before but we will catch them and deal with them because it is a sacrilege to kill in the church or even anywhere. We must see the end of it.”