The Commissioner of Police in Anambra State, Mr. Garba Umar says some arrests have been made in connection with the attack at the Saint Philip’s Catholic Church, Ozubulu in Ekwusigo local government area of the state
Mr. Umar made this known in a telephone interview with Radio Nigeria in Awka.
However, Mr. Umar, who earlier promised that the perpetrators of the attack would be brought to justice, did not state the number of the suspects arrested so far.
Mean while, the Caretaker chairman of Ekwusigo Local Government, Mr. Ikenna Ofodeme at a news conference at the headquarters of the Council, Ozubulu, described the incident as shocking and heartbreaking.
Mr. Ofodeme said 12 people died in the unfortunate incident while 27 persons who sustained various degrees of wounds were responding to treatment.
“At the end of the day, we lost total number of 12 lives. They are 9 women, a baby girl making it 10 and 2 men.”
He said the incident is the first of its kind in the entire south east and condemned the social media reports on the event.
Ofodeme commended the 50 medical doctors and other citizens who donated blood to save the injured to save their lives.
The Caretaker Committee Chairman also applauded the timely intervention of Governor Willie Obiano and the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Garba Umar.
He expressed the confidence that the police Command in the state would unravel the circumstances behind the attack and promised to assist it to get to the root of the matter.
When Radio Nigeria visited St. Philip’s Catholic Church Ozubulu, it looked calm and serene.
Attempts to speak with some of the people of the area were unsuccessful as they wore mournful look and refused to make any comment.
Radio Nigeria also visited Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi where the injured were receiving treatment, two of them Odinaka Okoye and Samuel Ndulue expressed shock over the incident but thanked God for sparing their lives.
“It was a thing of surprise because the man just entered the church and opened fire but I am feeling better.
“Am feeling alright, am not feeling any pain now.”
They also expressed appreciation to the people of the state for coming to their rescue.
In the mean time, politicians, especially governorship aspirants have been thronging the hospital to sympathizing with the wounded with some of them presenting cash donations to cushion the cost of the expenditure.
Some analysts say the aspirants are using the opportunity to boost their political image.
Meanwhile, the Chairman South East Governors’ Forum and the Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi has described the attack as a national tragedy.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Emmanuel Uzor, Governor Umahi expressed shock over the attack and called for proper investigation to unravel those behind it and their motives.
He commiserated with the families of the victims, government of Anambra State and the Catholic community over the incident.
Chief Umahi called on the people of the South-East Zone to remain calm as Governors of the Zone would continue to ensure the safety of lives and property which remained their primary responsibility.
KEVIN EKEDIEGWU, CHUKWUBUIKE MADU & EMMA UZO