St Philip's Catholic Church, Ozubulu: scene of Anambra's deadliest attack. Everything about this incident appears to have died down
On the morning of Sunday, August 6, Anambra State, nay Nigeria, was shocked by the emerging story of the brutal, senseless and most callous shooting and killing of 12 worshippers at St Philip's Catholic Church, Ozubulu, an incident that also left 26 persons wounded, in a suspected vendetta attack by those believed to be drug barons.
Indeed, while visiting the church a few hours later, both the Anambra State governor, Willie Obiano, and the state commissioner of police, Umar Garba, had alluded to the attack being orchestrated by drug barons who were from the town but resident in South Africa.
It was later learnt that a prominent Ozubulu indigene resident in South Africa, Aloysius Ikegwuonu, a.k.a. Bishop, was the target of the attack.
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, the police commissioner had assured that his command would leave no stone unturned with a view to unravelling those behind the dastardly act.
However, two months after the shocking and highly condemnable incident, everything about the killing appears to have gone into the cooler, much the same way as other high profile killings in the country went into the cooler before being conveniently forgotten forever.
Such other killings include the parcel bombing of Nigeria's foremost journalist, Dele Giwa, in 1986; the assassination of former minister, Bola Ige, in 2001; and the dumping of many dead bodies in Ezu River, Anambra State, in 2013, among others. Then, despite much noise about finding the killers, nothing happened and nothing has happened unto this day.
Now, two months after the Ozubulu killings, indications are that it may go the way of others before it. The police have not given the public any situation report on their investigations and everything just appears to be shrouded in worrying and uncomfortable secrecy.
When past experience in such matters are considered, Nigerians have cause to worry. Often times, certain crimes are repeated because those saddled with the task of taking action do nothing, especially if their interests are involved.
However, the Ozubulu case was such a horrible and reprehensible one and thus does not need to be swept under the carpet for any reason; else, those who died would have done so in vain.
We insist that the police and other security agencies should dig into this matter and unravel the culprits so that they will be duly punished according to the laws of the land. No person is bigger than the state. Anyone found to be remotely involved must be apprehended.
And as the police go about their investigation, we demand that from time to time, they feed the public with news of the progress being made as is the case in civilized countries. That is unless they want us to believe that we are not civilized.
May the souls of those who were killed in that mindless attack continue to rest peacefully in the Lord.