By Emeka Mamah
ENUGU—Catholic Bishops from Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu States fought back tears as the parish priest of Nimbo, Rev. Fr. Joseph Okeke Obetta narrated how innocent people were slaughtered like cows by suspected Fulani herdsmen in the area. Obetta spoke of the horrendous incident when the bishops visited the area in Uzo Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State where herdsmen killed over 40 people and burnt houses last month, to pray for the souls of the dead as well as console their relations.
However, apparently referring to reports that armed security men who were deployed to Nimbo to prevent the killings left their duty posts few minutes before the attackers struck, the bishops later asked the three tiers of government to take the security of their subjects as the main objective of their being in power. The bishops who visited Nimbo under the aegis of Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province also announced their donations of a hundred bags of rice worth N1.5 million and N8.5 million cash bringing the total donations to the people to N10 million.
Those who visited Nimbo include the Archbishop and Metropolitan of Onitsha and leader of the delegation, His Grace, Dr Valerian Maduka Okeke, the Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev. Callistus Onaga; Most Rev. Hilary Odili Okeke of Nnewi Diocese; Most Rev. Dr. John Ifeanyi Okoye of Awgu Diocese; Paulinus C. Ezeokafor of Awka; the Auxiliary Bishops of Onitsha and Awka, Dr Dennis Isizu and Most Rev. Dr Jonas Benson Okoye respectively; and the host Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Igwebuike Onah.
Other Bishops who were in solidarity with the visit were Most Rev. Michael Okoro of Abakiliki; Dr Francis Okobo Emeritus Bishop of Nsukka and Dr. Anthony Okonkwo Gbuji the Emeritus Bishop of Enugu. Also, present during the visit were Monsignor Evaristus Nwamadi of Enugu Diocese who was on a private visit when the bishops arrived; a handful of priests of Nsukka diocese including Dr Amuluche Nnamani, Rev. Fr. Martins Ozioko, and Dr Brendan Nwodo, among other two Anglican priests.
The convoy of Bishops arrived Nimbo shortly before 4pm Tuesday after rising from their meeting in Enugu, were received by a crowd of the Nimbo people who were already coming home after they had deserted same in the wake of the heinous crimes.