Abuja — The Catholic Diocese of Nnewi has released the names of victims of the attack on St. Philip's Catholic Church, Ozubulu, in Anambra State.
The church was attacked last Sunday by a lone gunman who killed 12 worshippers while 18 others were injured.
The attack was believed to be a fall out of a gang war between two indigenes of the community, which is in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of the state.
In a statement issued by Bishop of the diocese, Hilary Odili Okeke, and obtained by The Cable, the church indicated that the death toll in the attack had risen to 13.
While soliciting for funds for the care of the victims, the diocese said it had opened a bank account in that regards.
"Anybody, parish, institution, company, society, association or group that would like to join the diocese in providing assistance to the victims and their families can send their contributions," the statement read.
"We shall keep accurate records of contribution and distribution of the funds."
It listed the 22 surviving victims as: Ikegwuonu Caroline, Nwakile Anthonia, Okoye Odinaka, Okoye Patricia, Isaac Chinedu, Ugochi Obiajulu, Chukwueloka Chineze, Oramadike Chioma, Azuka Basil, Oramadike Chiamaka, and Oramadike Chinagorom.
Others are Oramadike Chinecherem, Udegbunam Chidimma, Ndulue Samuel, Udegbunam Obiageli, Uchechukwu Chukwueloka, Nwanya Ngozi, Ngwuta Chinemelum, Asomba Chukwudum, Nnudule Leonard, Muomah Michael and Oramadike Favour.
Two of them have been discharged while others are in different wards in the hospital.
The church also released the names of those who died. They are: Cyprian Ikegwuonu, Hyacinth Oramadike, Cecilia Ewin, Eunice Akanigbo, Rose Okoye, Anulika Obunadike and Uchenna Obunadike.
Others are: Anthonia Ufondu, Oluchukwu Uhelu, Christiana Igbeja, Udeze Pauline, Victoria Uzokwe and Florence Nweke.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the apex socio-political organisation of the Igbo ethnic group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has demanded a thorough investigation of the massacre of innocent church worshippers.
The group described the attack as despicable and horrendous.
Ohanaeze said it would want the Catholic Church to be part of the investigation in order to get to the genesis of the incident in particular as well as locate the reason for such "strange sacrilegious" crime in Igboland
According to a statement from its media office signed by its President-General, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, the Igbo highest group said it was yet to come out of the shock of the "mindless and appalling crime."
The group leader said: "The variety of the angles emerging as the likely cause of the incident make thorough and unhindered investigation on the matter inevitable and imperative."
Nwodo said getting to the root of the matter is the only way to nip this type of grievous crime in the bud.
"In Igboland and indeed the entire Christendom, the Church is known as the custodian of peace and reconciliation, and not for violence, therefore, this is why the August 6 devilish attack on the church remains shocking and strange," he added.
While condoling with the bereaved and sympathising with the injured, Nwodo urged the people of Ozubulu particularly and the Catholic worshippers to remain calm and await the outcome of the investigations and should avoid taking the law into their hands.
Also, Senator Annie Okonkwo has passionately charged the police and all security agencies of the state to solve the riddle of the attack quickly and comprehensively.
"This new zenith in criminal sacrilege must be crushed with vehemence, solved with speed and nipped without ceremony, so that confidence can tarry and anarchy kept at bay," he cautioned.
Okonkwo who was reacting through his Adviser on Public Communications, Collins Steve Ugwu, said "because lamentations are not solutions, and tears are lame to justice, the real condolence to everybody that is hurt in this matter, is a swift apprehension of the culprits and their sponsors however remote, to be burnt by the fiery rage of our laws promptly and decisively.
"I'm filled with anger as a knight of the church, and rage as a citizen, such that doses of platitudes will not blunt, nor assurances satisfactorily erase, except justice is done to this cruel bleeding by bullets from savage sub-humans.
"I therefore call on the people of Ozobulu, traumatised as they should, never to entertain respite or fear, never to consider kinship or fraternity as they cooperate fully with agencies of state, to expose these devils and send them to permanent abyss. No information must be withheld and none considered small in this matter."