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Recent mass killing at St. Philips Catholic Church, Ozubulu, Anambra State by gunmen has further dragged Nigeria into the unenviable comity of countries where the safety of lives and property is anything but guaranteed.

Recent mass killing at St. Philips Catholic Church, Ozubulu, Anambra State by gunmen has further dragged Nigeria into the unenviable comity of countries where the safety of lives and property is anything but guaranteed.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Garba Umar, disclosed that the gunmen, who spotted all black attire, hailed from the same community and did not hide the fact as they spoke fluent Igbo language during their operation. Governor Willie Obiano validated this claim when he stated that two drug barons from Ozubulu, who reside in South Africa, are the prime suspects.
Umar added that: “Intelligence reports and preliminary investigation showed that one of the drug barons (Nnamdi Ikegwuonu) built the church,” where his father and other family members worship. The Ozubulu massacre is been seen as sacrilegious and a despicable inhuman action taken too far. That it occurred in a sanctuary, where people go to seek salvation for their souls, makes it the most abominable, thoughtless and barbaric. It is also an affront to the Catholic faith globally.The police have no reason failing to apprehend the real perpetrators given that there is an existing order, which the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, had given at the peak of Boko Haram onslaught against Churches and Mosques, that worshippers be protected during service and prayers.
Despite the huge amount of security votes collected by Obiano and the logistics at the disposal of the police in Anambra, it is unjustifiable that an attack which snuffed life out of tens of innocent citizens was not prevented from happening. Wither intelligence in this country? We are also constrained to ask what has become of the local vigilante groups established by the Anambra governor, which allegedly curbed kidnapping in the state, when police and other security agencies failed?
Given that the people cannot totally depend on the central police to curb these killings, Nigeria Moment demands the establishment of community or state police, as eminent Nigerians including former military president, Ibrahim Babangida had earlier canvassed. But such state police and supporting vigilante groups must be well-trained to eschew the feared sentiments and compromise in their operations, which have remained the bane of the agitation. We believe that if community policing were on ground in Ozubulu and indeed other states where killings are a daily occurrence, they would have complemented the centralized system during investigation, since they are familiar with the local terrain where they would be so deployed.
The Federal Government, through the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies, has not been able to stop the mindless killings by Boko Haram insurgents in the Northeast, and rampaging herdsmen, whose activities have continued to remain a threat to the peaceful co-existence of the country. We urge the Federal Government to declare an emergency on security so that it can be alive to its responsibility of protecting the lives and property of citizens. The National Assembly should also take necessary legislative steps to give the needed impetus to community policing and other measures that can curb these violent killings. If government is at its wit's end on better ways of securing the lives and property of Nigerians, it should immediately convoke a national summit with experts drawn locally and internationally to proffer peculiar solutions to these killings which have made residents to perpetually live in fear. As regards the Ozubulu massacre, the Federal Government should collaborate with the international police, INTERPOL, to apprehend the culprits, since preliminary investigations have linked the attack to drug barons based abroad. While we suggest that all forms of killings in Nigeria with international connections should be tackled through such collaborations, it must not be at the expense of the nation's sovereignty.

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