Nigerians were treated with a rude shock on August 6th, 2017 when the news of some brutal killings in St. Phillips Catholic Church filtered the through the airwaves.

The day started like any other until some armed men stormed the church and wasted many innocent souls leaving some severely injured.

Trust the news from the streets – it had it that two drug groups had a fight in South Africa and one of the barons who was a principal actor was Aloysius Ikegwonu a.k.a Bishop Ozubulu who single-handedly built the church and two others.

It became crystal clear that Ikegwuonwu must have played a fast one on his rivals who thought he was in the church and wanted to settle scores with him by dispatching him to the great beyond. Unfortunately his father was among the victims of their bullets.

Whether or not the drug story is true is left for the courts to decide when charges are pressed but there still exists the court of public opinion. A young man left the countryside for South Africa and became a well known philanthropist almost overnight. He built three Catholic churches, had so many projects in his hometown, commissioned a road on his 36th birthday which even the Governor, Willie Obiano serenaded with his attendance and was given a nickname Bishop Ozubulu in recognition of his numerous ‘charity’ works. No questions were being asked as to how he came about such stupendous wealth. Did he win some lottery? There are many well traveled Anambrarians who know how tough living abroad is but they all partook of his largesse with much gusto.

We recall what happened in the middle ages when the Catholic church sold indulgences to rebuild St. Peter’s Basilica which led to the rise of the Lutheran movement. Why shouldn’t the Catholic church in Anambra ask questions as to how this young man got the resources to muster such ambitious projects? Rather than endlessly asking for donations and shamelessly accepting from all and sundry, critical questions as to the source should be asked. We recall some years ago when Christ Embassy accepted a 20 million naira tithe from a cashier in Sheraton hotels. Pray, how could his legitimate earnings in a century given him the funds to tithe with in that magnitude?

Ikegwonu, the alleged main culprit is now saying that he is not a drug dealer and that he should be left alone to mourn his late dad. He claimed he is a contractor involved in the construction of roads and infrastructure in Nigeria. What is the name of his company? Which contracts have they handled? There are more questions urgently begging for answers.

This year alone, five Ozubulu indigenes based in South Africa were said to have been killed by their fellow countrymen over business deals that went awry. The suspicion of drug running should not be taken lightly by the police.

Let the killings be a lesson for the church to ask questions as to the source of the wealth of the donors so that we don’t have more sacrificial lambs.

May the souls of the departed rest in perfect peace!

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