Following the invasion of St. Anthony Catholic Church in Ozubulu, Anambra State on Sunday August 5th, in which 13 people were killed and many others critically injured, the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) has called for sober reflection and serious National concern and a return to the teaching of morals and values in our society.
Making the call in a press statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Fred Akokhia, the political party described the attack as not only despicable, but barbaric and sacrilegious, noting that it was a desecration of a place of worship and an invasion of God’s sanctuary.
According to the party, “It is a dastardly act that should be condemned by every reasonable person and it calls for concerted effort from all well-meaning Nigerians because of its dire political, social and religious consequences. We at the New Nigeria People’s Party NNPP commiserate with the families of those who lost their lives in the shooting.
\ “One thing is very clear, from whatever perspective the dastardly act emanated, the incident has brought to the fore the need for the realigning of the teaching of morals and values in our society and the present day Nigeria.
“One recall with sobriety that times in the past, even the pagans who we referred to as “idol worshippers who may not know God”, during their processions, drumming, singing and dancing, when they get close to a place of worship (either church or mosque), they would stop all these, and maintain absolute silence until they have passed the place, before they resume their drumming and singing. But the big question is “what has become of those values we held high in the past”?
“How did we get to this point of gunmen going into places of worship to spill blood. One will recall similar incidences in the past, especially in the Northern part of Nigeria, where some people had wreaked havoc in places of worship like mosques and churches, leaving several people dead and several others injured in the name of terrorism, and or insurgency.
“It is for this reason that NNPP is calling on all Nigerians, the government and security agents to keep an open mind, and put all options on the table as they go about their investigations into the senseless and needless killing.
“We quite appreciate the quick response of the Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano and the police authorities in the state. To us at NNPP, we believe their response was timely and meant to douse tension and the possible ugly consequences which could have come with avoidable consequences, especially in view of the ugly mutual distrust which has pervaded our land in recent time.
“It was possible that there could have been reprisal attacks, wrongly or rightly, as a result of misconceived motives for the killing in the house of God. Having said this, we hope the government and the police have not come to the final conclusion that the killing was only traceable to drug war.
“If this is the fixed position of the investigations into the dastardly act, we also can conveniently conclude that the investigation may suffer a still -birth, as it will not yield any positive results that will unravel the motive(s), and those behind it. It is a known practice everywhere, that in situation like this, especially drug war, warlords avoid place of worship and the shedding of blood of innocent persons.“By narrowing our line of thought to one direction-drug war, we might be jumping to conclusion, and allowing the culprits to escape justice. It is a known fact that perpetrators of crime like this always use decoy, to lead investigators to embark on a “wild goose chase”, pursing wrong leads. This is why we are calling on the government and the police to extend their dragnet of investigation to both the likely and unlikely directions,” the party said.