GUNMEN ATTACK ANAMBRA CHURCH, PULL DOWN BUILDING

Tony Okafor, Awka

Gunmen on Tuesday night allegedly attacked Cathedral Church of St Michael’s, Umuikwu Anam in Anambra West Local Government Area of Anambra State.

The Anglican Bishop of Mbamili Diocese, Rt. Rev. Henry Okeke, disclosed this to newsmen on Wednesday, while alleging threat to his life and other clergies in the diocese.

He said, “There were shootings on Tuesday by hoodlums who stormed the church to pull down the Cathedral building of Diocese of Mbamili.”

The bishop said he had sent a “Save our Soul” message to the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, informing him of the development.

He said, “Our problem with the miscreants, who are also from Umuikwu Anam, started in 2018 when we wanted to build the fence of the cathedral as well as the construction of the Cathedral building; the miscreants pulled it down twice and prevented us from fencing the cathedral.

“The land belongs to the church with well-gazetted documents but we do not understand why these miscreants are preventing us from carrying out our projects.

“About 10 pm yesterday, (Tuesday) we started hearing gunshots while they were pulling down the Cathedral building.

“They were threatening and shouting that anybody including the bishop who comes out will be shot.

“They have done so many things to threaten lives here but God has been keeping us.”

He said he had written to the governor and the Assistant Inspector General of Police in Umuahia on the matter.

“We do not want to take laws into our hands or resort to self-help. In fact, the youths of our church are very obedient. If it is in other places, you would have been hearing something else.”

Reacting, the traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Ben Onyeke, said the portion of the land given to the church by the community was not in contention, regretting the activities of some hoodlums in the community.

When contacted on the telephone, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Haruna Mohammed, said he was not aware of the development.

He enjoined the bishop to notify the state Commissioner of Police, John Abang, of the matter.