20170812

Church killings in ozubulu: The other side of the man targeted by the killers

Members of the Ozubulu Community in Anambra State where gunmen massacred innocent worshippers have debunked claims that one of their own is a criminal.

Following the massacre at the St. Philips Catholic Church in Ozubulu, Anambra State on Sunday, August 6, 2017, where more than 11 people died and many others injured during an invasion by gunmen, different people have been giving many dimensions to the narrative.

The general consensus of the sad story has been that,
the gunmen were after one Chief Aloysius Nnamdi Ikegwuonu also known as Bishop, a suspected drug baron, following a sour deal in far away South Africa, indigenes of the Ozubulu town are insisting that their son is not a criminal and was not the target of the marauding gunmen.

A community leader Emedolibe Anyanwu who spoke on the allegation that Bishop was a drug baron, debunked such claims, saying he was a much-loved philanthropist who was held in high esteem in the community.

Speaking glowingly on what Bishop who holds the traditional title of Ebubechukwu Uzo, the community leader said:
“Chief Aloysius our son is not a criminal. He is not a drug baron. Those who say he is a criminal do not know what they are saying. He is a man who never forgets his promises to the people of Ozubulu. 
"He has done so many things for us. Aside from paying the aged people in Ozubulu, he includes the oldest men in Ozubulu like Okenye Amakwa, Egbema, Eziora, and Nza, etc.
"The four Obi in Ozubulu are now benefiting from Ebubechukwu Uzo salary scheme. 
We, the people of Ozubulu will increase the fire in our daily prayers for Almighty God to give him more blessing and long life in Jesus name.”
Another member of the community who also dismissed the stories making the rounds, said Bishop is one of the most respected members of the community and they stand solidly behind him.

"Chief Aloysius Nnamdi Ikegwuonu, the Akuchinyere Nwata 1, is not into drugs. He engages in empowerment programmes as well as philanthropic works in our home town.

"He single-handedly built the St. Philip Catholic Church in Amakwa, and handed it over to the Onitsha Diocese. He contributed heavily towards the building of the St. Aloysius Church of Divine Mercy, still in Ozubulu. How can such a God fearing man be a criminal?

"Akuchinyere Nwata 1 was the one who tarred the bad roads in our community and invited the Governor to commission them."
Yet another community extolled the virtues of Bishop, saying he runs Non-Governmental Organisation [NGO] called the Ebubechukwu Uzo Foundation which is focused on empowering members of his community as well as neighbouring communities.

However, others have insisted that Bishop is not as clean as he makes it seem, using his philanthropic works to mask his shady activities which include drug trafficking and that he was the real target of the gunmen that stormed the church on the black Sunday morning.

[written by Isaac Dachen of The Pulse]