People suspected to be members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Thursday, attacked a Catholic Priest, identified as Rev Fr Festus Eziamaka, for venturing out of his residence on a day they had declared as sit-at-home.
It wsa gathered that the priest, who is the vicar of St Jude’s Parish in Nnewi, was attacked around Ibeto junction, while he was going to celebrate morning mass before 6am.
Sources said he was attacked with stones and other objects and his car damaged, just as he was bloodied and left unconscious in the car, in the pool of his own blood.
The source said, “The man has been identified as a Catholic priest, and he has been rushed to the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi for treatment.
But the Police Public Relations Officer of Anambra State Police Command, SP Haruna Mohammed, who spoke to a journalist on phone, said there was no incidence of violence anywhere in the state as a result of the IPOB sit-at-home-order.
When asked if it was true that a priest was attacked by irate members of IPOB, he said he had no idea of such, but promised to make enquiries and get back to the reporter.
But a Catholic priest, Rev Fr Celestine Okonkwo (Bishop’s Secretary), in a WhatsApp message, confirmed the incident.
He said, “Our priest, Fr. Festus Eziamaka, parish vicar of St. Jude’s Parish, Nnewi, presently residing at the Bishop House, from where he shuttles every day to his duties for his parish, was attacked before 6am today on his way to say the first Mass of Ascension for his parish.
“He was attacked and shot by IPOB members who had declared no-movement today. They shot very close to his eyes and beat him up. His vehicle was badly damaged. Thank God, he was rushed to Teaching Hospital. The doctors immediately took him to the theatre.”
The priest said that his colleague was responding to treatment and was in a stable condition and that there was no reason to be afraid for him.