Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra state has said two persons from Ozubulu who are known drug barons in South Africa are the prime suspects of the attack on St Philips Catholic church in Ozubulu.
Gov. Obiano at the scene of the attack
The governor made the statement on Sunday, August 6, shortly after he visited the scene of the attack in Ekwusigo local government area of the state, Channels TV reports
Victims of the attack
Obiano who described the attack as a sacrilege said the briefing he received from the police had revealed that the shooting was a reprisal attack by the drug barons who traced their victim to the church.
He dismissed reports that the incident was a church invasion.
Governor Obiano also visited Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi to sympathise with the injured victims who were being treated at the medical facility.
He expressed worry that the incident was tragic as innocent people were attacked over a drug war concerning two abroad based Ozubulu brothers.
The governor further proceeded to Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Cathedral, Nnewi, to calm parishioners over the already heightened rumor that churches were under attack.
Meanwhile, the police in Anambra on Sunday said preliminary investigations of early morning attack on St. Philip Catholic Church, Ozubulu, Ekwusigo Local Government Area revealed that it was carried out by a native of the area.
The commissioner of Police, Mr Garba Umar, who said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka said the gunmen who attacked the church were dressed in a black attire and spoke fluent Igbo.
Umar said: “From our findings, it is very clear that the person who carried the attack must be an indigene of the area.
“We gathered that worshippers for 6 o’clock Sunday mass at St. Philip Ozobulu were in the service when a gunman dressed in black attire covering his face with a cap entered the church and moved straight to a particular direction and opened fire.
“The man after shooting at his targeted victims still went on a shooting spree, killing and wounding other worshippers.”
The commissioner said information available to police showed that the attacker was speaking undiluted Igbo Language at the time he was firing at worshippers.
Umar described any insinuation that the attack was carried out by Boko Haram elements as false and urged the people to go about their normal businesses.