The Presidency on Wednesday said President Muhammadu Buhari had followed up his telephone call to the Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, with a letter of condolence and commiseration following what he described as “shocking and cowardly attack on worshippers” in St. Philips Catholic Church, Ozubulu, in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of the state on Sunday.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja.
Shehu said in the letter he signed and sent on Tuesday, the President said that “to attack and kill defenseless people while worshipping is the most heinous of all crimes. The nation is one at deploring this monstrous crime.
“Please, convey to the families and friends of those killed, my condolences for this utterly dastardly crime. Please also convey my considerations and sympathies to the people of Ekwusigo Local Government Area for this tragic attack”
Meanwhile, Catholic Bishops, Ibadan Province have condemned the killings and called on the Federal Government to curtail arms proliferation in the country, saying the issue deserved utmost attention.
The Bishops stated this in a communique signed by the Province President, Most Rev. Gabriel Abegunrin and the Secretary, John Oyejola, at the end of their second meeting held at the Saint Kizito Pastoral Centre, Oke Gada, Ede, Osun State, on Wednesday.
The communique read, “We sympathise with the reverend in charge of Nnewi Diocese, Most Reverend Hillary Okeke, and the faithful of the Diocese, the government and people of Anambra State and several families directly affected by the mass murder which occurred on Sunday, August 6, 2017, at St. Philip Catholic Church, Ozubulu, Anambra State.
“We uphold the sanctity of every human life given by God and not to be taken away by anyone and therefore can never denounce enough the evil of such a horrendous and callous killing of innocent worshippers right in the church during the Holy Mass.
“The bottom line is that the security situation in Nigeria remains at best, tenuous. We strongly condemn whatever may be at the root of this and similar occurrences. Those who are charged with securing human life and property in the nation must simply do more to protect the citizens. One must ask how murderers like the perpetrators of the Ozubulu mayhem came about such deadly weapons.
“The proliferation of arms in Nigeria deserves urgent and decisive action. We call on all our faithful to pray that the souls of the departed may rest in perfect peace and that God may bring enduring peace to Nigeria. We also restate that the right of all Nigerians to freely adhere to any religion of their choice is sacrosanct and must be protected by all legitimate means.”
The Bishops lamented the resurgence of Boko Haram activities in the North-East, saying the criminal group seems to have returned with renewed strength to decimate the people.