A sour drug deal is reportedly the reason for the Ozubulu church massacre which according to police,left 8 dead and 18 injured.
According to Vanguard, it was learned that trouble started for worshippers who were in church for the 6:00am Mass, when at about 6:45am, the gunmen rode into the church in a Lexus SUV, as one of them entered the church and shot at close range an elderly man, later identified as Pa Ikegwuonu, while others remained in the vehicle outside.
An eye-witness told Vanguard that after killing the old man, the gunman opened fire on other worshippers, as those who tried to flee were cut down by the gunmen outside the church.
Pa Ikegwuonu is the father of Chief Aloysius Ikegwuonu, a businessman from Amakwa, who built and donated the church to Nnewi Diocese, while his wife was shot on her right arm and still on admission at the teaching hospital.
It was gathered that the gunmen were looking for his son, Aloysius, who was said to have returned to the village on Saturday and left later in the day. According to a source, the gunmen had thought he was in the church and had wanted to deal decisively with him over a yet-to-be ascertained business deal.
A survivor, Mr. Stephen Ohamadike, told Vanguard at the church premises that the gunmen entered the church around 6.45am as they were about to begin prayer of the faithful. He said:
“Those of us who were to say the prayers of the faithful had just assembled at the altar and I had Number 2 which meant that I was to say the prayer for Nigeria. Suddenly, I saw someone who was putting on a cap shooting indiscriminately inside the church. “There was pandemonium and in the midst of the confusion, I just lay down on the floor. The officiating priest and the Mass servers quickly left the altar and the Mass came to an abrupt end. “I counted 11 dead people and many were wounded. I used the vehicle belonging to Pa Ikegwuonu to take him and his wife and others to Evans Hospital where the doctors advised us to go to the teaching hospital. I used the car to convey many other people to the hospital before I came back to Amakwa.”
Several other parishioners, who sustained bullet wounds were being treated at the hospital, with over 50 medical doctors from Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, NAUTH, and other private hospitals around Nnewi battling to save their lives at the Emergency Unit of the hospital.