Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State is currently meeting with the Senate over the ongoing probe into the killings by herdsmen in parts of the state. The meeting is being held behind closed doors. The National Assembly had, in the wake of claims and counter-claims over the killings, had said it would seek to unravel…
At least 12 people were killed, and 18 others injured, in a shooting during Mass at a Roman Catholic church in southeastern Nigeria on Sunday, according to local authorities and the Vatican.
Pope Francis was “deeply saddened” by the attack and invoked “the divine blessings of consolation and strength” upon the diocese, the Vatican’s secretary of state wrote in a message on Monday to Bishop Hilary Paul Odili Okeke of Nnewi, the diocese that includes the church.
The police commissioner for Anambra State, Garba Umar, said the shooting was “not unconnected to a kind of a ‘gang war’ ” involving drug lords active in both Nigeria and South Africa.
“We are dealing with a dangerous gang war that has spilled over to Anambra State from another African country,” the state’s governor, Willie Obiano, said after visiting the church and a hospital where victims of the shooting were being treated. “All of the shadowy characters behind this crime shall account for it,” he added. “This is the first and the last of this appalling crime.”
According to the authorities, gunmen drove up to the gate of the Catholic Church of St. Philip in the town of Ozubulu, about 16 miles south of the city of Onitsha, around 6 a.m. on Sunday, and stopped halfway through the gate, blocking it.
Men then marched to the front of church, near the altar, and opened fire as worshipers scattered. Some of the gunmen blocked an exit door.