By Chidi Nkwopara— OWERRI
People whose relations were either killed or declared missing in the Obigbo, Rivers State, crisis have been advised to forward such information to the Catholic Archdiocesan Secretariat, Owerri.
Archbishop Anthony J. V. Obinna gave the advice when the issue was raised during the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council meeting, held at the Jubilee Hall, Maria Assumpta Cathedral, Owerri.
He reasoned thus: “We need credible information on the alleged massacre. It would be unwise to react to the alleged massacre, based purely on the information making the rounds in social media.
“The allegation, if found to be true, is a very serious development. Let us have the statistics of those killed and those believed to be missing in the incident.”
Midway into his response, Archbishop Obinna sought to know if any pastoral councillor present at the meeting had a relation who was either killed or missing, during the alleged massacre and there was no response from anybody.
About three weeks ago, tension went high at Obigbo, Rivers State, when IPOB members were said to have launched attacks at police stations.
The governor, Nyesom Wike, reacted by placing a bounty of N50,000,000 on their leader, followed by police clampdown in which many were said to have lost their lives.
Continuing, Archbishop Obinna disclosed that the Catholic Bishops of Owerri and Onitsha Ecclesiastical Provinces will meet soon and the issue of the alleged massacre was sure to make the agenda.
His words: “I must, again, reiterate the need for us to have credible information about the alleged Obigbo massacre.
“Catholic Bishops of Owerri and Onitsha Ecclesiastical Provinces will meet soon, and the issue is likely to be raised.
“Obigbo, though in Rivers State, is in Aba Catholic Diocese, Owerri Ecclesiastical Province. So, you can now understand that Obigbo is within our jurisdiction.”
Addressing the issue of police brutality in Imo State, the cleric advised victims to submit their petitions to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry, currently investigating the alleged brutality and extra-judicial killings by the police.
“Those who are unable to submit their petitions to the Commission, for one reason or the other, are advised to visit the Justice, Development, Peace Commission/Caritas, JDPC, Assumpta Secretariat, Owerri, for assistance,” Archbishop Obinna said.
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