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Church Members Narrate How God Saved Them from Being Killed During the Ozubulu Church Massacre in Anambra

Ozubulu Church Massacre in Anambra

Some of the survivors recounted the ugly incident   Some victims of the Ozubulu church massacre that took place at St.
Philip’s Catholic Church, Ozubulu in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of
Anambra State have recounted how they escaped the bloody incident. Many
said that it was God who saved them from the ordeal in this interview by
New Telegraph.   One of the survivors, Samuel Ndulue, who was lying on the hospital
bed heavily bandaged after undergoing an operation on his two legs, said
that he was sitting on the third row when the shooting started.   He said: “We were in the church as usual and as we were about
saying the prayer of the faithful, the Parish Priest, Rev Father Jude
Onwuaso, asked us to stand up. Immediately we stood up, the gunman
started spraying bullets on the people. “I lay down under the pew and as
the gunman momentarily stopped firing, most people felt he had gone out
and they scampering into safety, he opened fire again.
“I got up to run away only for the bullets to hit me in my two legs, shattering them. I became unconscious.It was when I woke up that I discovered that I was in the hospital. I thank God I am alive.” Another victim, Miss Chinasa Chukwueloka, said:
“It was a miracle that I am still alive. I followed other people to run
when the shooting started but I fell in the middle of the church and
that was when the bullets hit me.”
  A 14-year-old girl, who gave her name simply as Chidimma, said she
could not explain what happened to her. According to her, she only found
herself in the hospital yesterday morning. Another victim, who did not
want his name mentioned, said the man beside him in the hospital just
died yesterday morning “but I didn’t know he was among us”.   A man, who lost his uncle, brother’s wife and a baby to the
shooting, Mr. Joel Obunadike, said the gunman shot them from behind. He
said that though they did not die on the spot, they gave up the ghosts
later at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi.   Obunadike regretted that his brother, whose wife and child were
killed, was yet to return from a trip and did not yet know what
happened.   He said: “We were in the middle of the mass when a black car
drove to the church gate and parked. Afterwards, the car moved away but
turned back before parking on the same spot.
“A young man came into the church through the back door and
started shooting indiscriminately while backing the altar. Many people
tried to escape through the two remaining doors but to our surprise, the
gunman opened fire in those directions.
“I did not rush out like others immediately and it was majorly
those people that tried to escape through the two doors that were either
killed or wounded.”
  One person reportedly died yesterday morning at the Accident and
Emergency Ward of NAUTH. Although the hospital management denied loss of
any victim since they were brought to the hospital, eight of the 20
victims in the hospital were in critical condition while the rest were
responding to treatment.   When contacted, the NAUTH Chief Medical Director, Prof Anthony Igwegbe, said none of the victim had died. He said:
“I am tired of speaking to the press, I’ve spoken to so many of them
this morning, you can take him to the ward to see them and speak with
them if he wants to.”
  The CMD’S briefing coincided with the visit of the former Governor
of Anambra State, Mrs. Virgie Etiaba, who said she was there to
sympathise with the victims and thank God for saving them alive.   At the ward, a medical official said some of the victims had been
moved to the theatre for operation because most of them were still
carrying the bullets in their bodies. Meanwhile, relations and
sympathisers have continued to throng the Accident and Emergency Ward
under strict security surveillance.   Ozubulu has also turned to a Mecca of sort as people from all parts
of the country, especially neighbouring communities gathered to get a
first-hand glance of the holy place desecrated with bloodletting. Though
the land is still laden with grief of the unfortunate mishap, there
were feelers that it might not be the last as the drug war, which has
allegedly lasted for three years, has not ended.   Speaking with New Telegraph on the phone, a South Africa-based
Nigerian, who pleaded anonymity, said the war would have been settled if
Chief Alloysius Ikegwuonu popularly known as Bishop in South Africa had
followed the agreement on the deal to the letter.   He said: “Bishop is good at taking it all, not minding who
would be hurt in the process. But I think this time, he got hooked. You
cannot take what belongs to you and other people to enrich yourself and
expect to go free. No. With time your sins will catch up with you.
“I feel bad that his father was caught in midst of the
masquerade dance. Honesty is required in every business if not the
person will not end well.
There are guys in South Africa that are doing business without having issues with anybody.” The
Chairman of Ekwusigo Local Government Area, Mr. Ikenna Ofodeme,
dismissed the insinuation that it was a quarrel between two Ozubulu
indigenes. The chairman said that he was compiling details of the
casualties.   He said: ‘It is possible that God wanted to use the incident to
expose some bad people in the community. I pray this would be the last
we will hear of such thing again.”
However, the state Commissioner
of Police, Mr. Garba Umar, said that some arrests had already been made
though he didn’t disclose the number of people arrested. He said that
the number was being kept away from the public in order not to
jeopardise the ongoing investigation.

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