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Ozubulu Church Killings Have Marked The Return Of Dirty Politics And Bloodshed In Anambra State

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(Intersociety Nigeria, 6th August 2017)-The killing and maiming early this morning of dozens of unarmed and defenseless parishioners of St Philips Catholic Church located in Umuezekwe, Ofufe-Amakwa, Ozubulu Community in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State are nothing short of the return of dirty politics and bloodshed in Anambra State.

The well armed gunmen numbering about five had stormed the Church during its early Sunday Morning Service opened fire, killing scores of parishioners; numbering 20 or more. Scores of others were also shot and critically injured. Though the exact cause of and identities of the killing and those that carried it out are yet to be investigatively and formally established, but security experts and social crime watchers have linked it to frustrations arising from a failed assassination attempt/politically motivated killing.

The third possible reason for the killing being killing associated with abduction/failed abduction is dead on arrival because there are no circumstantial clues or leads to that effect. The possibility of the killing being associated with Church-Communal rift over land dispute or possible desecration/destruction by the former of a communal deity/shrine is also dead on arrival. This is on account of non-existence of such rift between the Church and the Ozubulu Community or a part of the Community.

The likelihood of the barbarous killing associated with armed robbery or carjacking is totally eliminated because of scientific and near zero physical violence presently adopted by armed robbers and car snatchers. Modern car snatchers have since become advanced and scientific by using modern technologies to activate car ignitions and padlocks; after which they quietly and nonviolently drive their target cars away to their syndicates for onward illicit transactions and disposals.

Modern armed robbers and abductors, on their part, have also advanced and made more use of communications gadgets and crime cells. Use of violence such as shooting and maiming is considered a lesser option except when under attack or where violence is the only option left for them to achieve their aims or hit their targets. Generally, armed robbery and abduction can never be carried out without targets. Any violent shooting and killing of victims without a target is the handiwork of deadly or dirty politicians or “political armed robbery”.

The technical clarifications above are to guide against the usual falsehood and spinning by the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force who always divert the public attention by presenting false pictures of crimes and their crime scenes. The people of Anambra State will not be surprised to hear a concocted or falsified version of the Ozubulu killings from the authorities of the Anambra State Police Command in coming hours.

Such concoction may most likely include mangling of the casualty figures and childish version of the likely cause of the shooting or killings. We will not be surprised too to be told that “it is the handiwork of IPOB which has sworn that Anambra Governorship Poll will not take place come 18th November 2017”.

While we totally condemn the latest massacre at the Ozubulu St Philips Catholic Church, we urge the police crime/homicide detectives, if any, to primarily zero down their investigations on killing arising from frustrations over a failed assassination attempt targeted at the escaped victim by a relative-sponsor at large.Politicians, members of the rich class and other members of the public as well as public office holders must put a stop to bloodshed and respect the sanctity of human lives. The Anambra State Police Command must leave no stone unturned and ensure that the culprits wherever they are or reside, are fished out by way of arrest or extradition and made to face the law in its fullness.

An eyewitness account per Don Ogbuagu has it that the gunmen actually went to assassinate a billionaire son of one of the clan chiefs of Ozubulu-Chief Aloysius Ikegwuonu (a.k.a. Bishop Ebubechukwu-Uzo of Ozubulu), but unfortunately for them, they met his absence; forcing them to storm a church located near his house (St Philips) in search of him during which he was nowhere to be found; which angered them and forced them to open fire on parishioners and shot them indiscriminately. The father of the billionaire was also shot and injured in his hand. The dead and the injured were taken to the Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital at Nnewi. Source: Don Ogbuagu-Ozubulu, Anambra State. The Anambra Governor who visited the Church also said the killing resulted from a feud between two brothers of the same parents in the Community.

Emeka Umeagbalasi
For: Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety)

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