Unknown gunmen are said to have stormed Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Nkwagu, in the Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, killing no less than three worshippers.

According to Zingtie, the gunmen broke into the church on Sunday night at around 11:30 p.m.

They had earlier called a well-known POS operator at Nkwagu market, one of the victims, to get him out of the church. They shot and killed him as soon as he stepped outside.

It was learned that the three victims’ deaths sent the entire town into mourning and stopped business operations, particularly on Christmas Day at the well-known Nkwagu market near the Abakaliki/Afikpo expressway.

Remember that cult conflicts recently claimed the life of one person, a student, in the Nkwagu community? Three more persons have now died, bringing the total number of deaths to four.

According to an investigation, there may have been cult-related conflicts between rival factions in the Nkwagu community, which may have contributed to the deaths of these three worshippers at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.

CP Augustina Ogbodo, the Commissioner of Police for Ebonyi State Command, did not answer multiple calls seeking an explanation. Similarly, the PPRO ignored texts that reporters in Abakaliki sent her.

The horrific murder of the three worshippers of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church on Christmas Eve has drawn the utter condemnation of the Catholic Bishop of Abakaliki Diocese, Most Rev. Peter Nworie, in a rapid response.

Nworie called the tragedy depressing and tragic, noting that numerous people were slain and maimed when the alleged killers broke into the church as the priest was celebrating a vigil mass service.

According to the bishop, “this is the first time such an incident has happened in the church and in Ebonyi State in general.”

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