Thursday, 7 November 2013

Rejoinder: Another ANLCA Minion Spews Falsehood

Dr. Frank Ukor; AREFFN President

The attention of Association of Registered Freight Forwarders, Nigeria(AREFFN) high command has been drawn to the publication on Shipping Position Daily of 4th Nov. 13 on page 7, accredited to one Chucks Kanikwu David on various issues including an attack on the President and members as well as the association itself.

We would have ignored his out bursts because ‘Silence is the best answer to a fool’, but because the general public may think that he is correct. He set out purposely to deceive the public with his outright lies and half truths.

Tin-can is not a notorious port, Tin-Can is an elitist port” This is a clear contradiction of the position of the CG of Customs during his recent visit to the Lagos ports.

Who is now saying the truth, the CG or the new Secretary of Tin-Can Chapter of ANLCA who is just making every effort to please his boss who installed him at the chapter.  In further defense of this position, he said, `what happened was that the coloration changed when the last executives came on board. I do not know how they got the notoriety, all of a sudden, so many  unorthodox practices that we were not used to, started coming up- beating Customs officers and closing port gates started becoming frequent as  they threw the virtues of dialogue to the winds’’. This can only be told to people who are new in the industry. We all know the modus operandi of ANLCA who so much believe in the application of unorthodox measures to achieve their set objectives. This method worked and was applauded long time ago when most of the operatives in the industry were not properly trained.

The emergence of AREFFN was partly to show that freight forwarding could be carried out in an atmosphere of mutual trust among the operators and other stake holders. Because we parade a crop of polished leaders, our approach has been remarkably different and we have been achieving results to the chagrin of our detractors. The face of freight forwarding must change.

Mr. Kanikwu and his ilk appear to have been  in the industry because the good ones had been crowded out through acts of intimidation, extortion, intrigue and outright  perfidy.  Mr Kankwu has oscillated severally between ANLCA and NAGAFF just looking for the ‘’ greener pasture’’ which he appears to have finally found in his new position in Tin can.  His subtle attachment on the immediate past executives of Tin Can is just to establish himself that he is ready to pay any price to satisfy his benefactors. No wonder his attack on AREFFN and its President, a perfect known gentleman, who has contributed immensely to the development in the industry. He has vehemently denied ever registering with and obtaining ANLCA Biometric Identity Card, and has challenged Mr Kanikwu to show proof of his assertion. ~I do not need ANLCA biometric identity card because I am not a member of ANLCA. Dr. Frank Ukor did not register with ANLCA. I challenge Mr Kanikwu to show the world that my identity card~, he said.

Mr Knaikwu’s views on the Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN)  simply exposes his limited knowledge of the workings of this agency.  CRFFN was established by law and given provisions under which to operate. It also has structures with which to implement its mandate. One would have expected Mr. Kanikwu to point out areas where the CRFFN has gone beyond its mandate. This, he could not do because CRFFN has been operating within the terms of its mandate. Is it the duty of a chapter Secretary of an association, who is seeking relevance, to query the vision, mission and contribution of another rival association within the industry? I think the CRFFN is the only body backed with such responsibility and there is no evidence that this task has been transferred to any outsider. If CRFFN demands the vision and achievements of AREFFN since it came into existence, AREFFN wILL willingly submit it to them, but not to the whims and caprices of Kanikwu and his backers.

The problem with Mr Kanikwu and his association is that because of the so called long dominion of the industry by the association, the issue of regulation which connotes control becomes an anathema in their calculation. Thus, their total opposition to any form of external control is the fulcrum around which all their distractive antics are centered.  ANLCA President has tactfully thwarted all the efforts made by various groups to get CRFFN back on course.

CRFFN has been bogged down for such a long time and if the agency thinks that ANLCA and its cohorts will ever willingly submit to its hegemony which was conferred on it by law, then the realization of its mandate may not be soon.  CRFFN is formed to regulate the Associations and never the other way round as some associations would prefer. If Kanikwu’s views actually represent the stand point of his association, then the CRFFN is expected to do the needful so that this kind of ridicule would stop.

We know that it is not Kanikwu that is talking. This is a case of `hand of Esau and Voice of Jacob’.
We really sympathize with the management of CRFFN over its predicament, because the forces against it are many, including some wealthy agencies of same federal government of Nigeria. What a shame!


Fwdr. Chidi Anthony Opara(RFF)
Presidential Adviser on Publicity

News Release: APC’s Asymmetric Political Guerrilla Warfare In Anambra State

In modern warfare industry  or convention, asymmetric guerrilla warfare can be summed up as “a situation where a group of militarily and  militantly organized people, whether in urban or interior take up arms against a constituted authority, whether roguishly or saintly instituted;  using all unconventional methods known to them including rape and other sexual violence, kidnapping, bombing and destruction of critical infrastructures, looting, torture and killing of civilians and the uniformed; with the aim of destabilizing or unseating the constituted authority or forcing on the polity its selfish ethno-religious dogma”. A typical example of “an asymmetric guerrilla warfare group” in present Nigeria is the Boko Haram insurgents in northern Nigeria. This method is applied in a situation where conventional means will be to the disadvantage of the antagonistic guerrilla group because of its small size and limited resources and space.

In civil politics, especially in opposition politics, the foregoing can be summed up as a group of highly intolerant people in a political party, using all unconventional methods known to them to propagate its quest to take over power. Deployment of these unconventional methods by such a group is usually propelled by desperation and dry thirst to occupy power “by fire by force” without following due processes or universal enfranchisement best practices including issue based and peaceful poll campaigns.

Such unconventional methods include militant and combative poll campaigns, manufacturing and spreading of dangerous rumors and falsehoods, destruction and defacing of its opponents’ bill boards and posters, hiring of paid agents for the purpose of promoting campaigns of calumny against dissent voices, general intolerance to dissenting voices, promotion of ethnocentrism using sectionalized media, planting of spies, booing and jeering crowds in its opponents’ camps, violent poll campaigns, resort to “perfect crimes” including killings from within oiled by outsider conspiracy with the sole aim of blaming them on its opponents and creating bad blood between its opponents and the poll voting and observing public, sponsorship of “media blackout” including “killing” the stories filed by local reporters that represent the views of its opponents or “balkanization and bastardization” of reporters’ stories or their bylines. A typical example of such political group with “asymmetric political guerrilla warfare tactics” in present Nigeria is the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Opposition politics in modern world has no business with “asymmetric political guerrilla warfare”. Rather, it is likened to “shadow cabinet or government” in other modern social climes such as the United Kingdom. Social loopholes and unpopular policies of the incumbents provide surest yardsticks for opposition parties to win popular elections by offering the public convincing theoretical solutions to such social problems to be practically implemented if popularly elected. In modern history, foreign policy blunders of both Democratic and Republican Parties in USA had cost them the loss of the White House seat of power during popular poll times.

The ill policies of the opponent of Mr. William Jefferson Clinton (Bill Clinton) in the State of Arkansas provided an opportunity for him to be ousted by Mr. Clinton as the governor in 1979. Mr. Clinton’s professorship in fixing such ill policies kept him in office through repeated popular polls till 1991.

A popular opposition political party in modern times is best described as “the best government in waiting better than the worst government in power”. This is because such a popular opposition political party researches and experiments on those infamous policies that makes the incumbent very unpopular needing it to be changed democratically. At the threshold of the ACN (APC) opposition political activism in Nigeria, it started well, winning the heart of millions of Nigerians. But few years later, just like the loss of corporate integrity of the Nigerian media soon after the anti military struggle that ended in 1999; the ACN (APC) derailed and decayed steeply and became an ethno-jingoist political opposition, from where it transformed into “an asymmetric guerrilla political warfare group” of present time.

It is important to say that any elective public office in Nigeria including the Anambra governorship seat can be won by the APC, but certainly not through “asymmetric political guerrilla warfare”. Instead of taking over the entire Nigerian polity through popular polls with intimidating and popular alternatives in matters of topical social governance problems afflicting the country or any part thereof, the APC embarks on “coupist” journey, seducing and inducing the occupants of some elective executive and legislative seat of power in the country including those the party say came through the windows at the point of their electoral emergence. Some of these convert governors are celebrated crooks and brigands, who used immunities to ward themselves of being guests of cocooned homes or prisons with permanent toga of social ostracism.

In Anambra State, the party went and canonized “the primus inter pares” of Nigeria’s “professors of election rigging”; that is to say one Dr. Chris Ngige and crowned him as “Anambra’s best governor in waiting” since 2007. After the party’s humiliation in the all popular Ondo State governorship poll of 2012, the APC became more deadly instead of being more politically professorial. This time around, it has become more mean by going for the jugulars of the modern world’s “living social saints and untouchables” (human rights activists) by massively deploying “crooked and conformist rights activists and media writers” to rest them in “pieces” or oust them out of social equation.

The common expectation of average reasonable person from the APC in Nigeria or any part thereof including Anambra State, is to tell and show them how and why the present government of Anambra State has failed in public governance indices or parameters, warranting its ousting through popular poll. Till date, the reverse is the case adding to growing evidence of “worst to come if elected or declared”. With the way things are going, assuming the APC wins or it is declared; its governorship candidate will take over Awka Government House without waiting to be sworn in or allowing the incumbent to exhaust his tenure by the mid day of March 17, 2013. And if the incumbent responds in the like manner, then the State will go up in flames.  

Just the other day, we read on the online media a statement credited to the APC, Anambra State chapter with a caption: “Peter Obi Uses Intersociety Again To Cover Uke Adoration Stampede”. Before then, the same APC  chapter had issued a statement with a title: “How Peter Obi Procured Intersociety To Cover Obiano’s Double Registration”. Days later, one of our trusted friends, Mr. Okechukwu Nwanguma, acting either within his self calculations or external inducement, announced to the world reading public his artistry in character assassination with our Board Chairman and Organization as his sole target. In all these, we acted maturely by concentrating on “putting the records straight” and refusing to be provoked or respond in a like manner including opening up on any of our attackers.

English Language professors usually say: “liars use passive voice and truth tellers use active voice”. Till date, none of our attackers including theLagos and Anambra APC chapters has laid before the teeming reading public any counter irrefutable facts to rubbish all our public positions, ranging from the Ezu River massacre to Obiano’s alleged double voter registration; and from the Uke stampede to other spurious accusations so leveled. In the Ezu River saga, the APC and its hirelings never saw anything wrong in the Senate Committee’s watery report that killed it and set free SARS murderers, but they saw something wrong in our in-depth and seminal report. Perhaps, Governor Peter Obi  also “offered bribes” to Dr. Chris Ngige and his senatorial colleagues to be extricated in the spurious report.

In obiano’s case, the destructive falsehood, propelled by the APC was put to rest by our incontrovertible investigation grounded in the provisions of the Electoral Act of 2010 (section 13 (1) (2)( 3) (4)). A High Court sitting in Otuocha, Anambra State had few days ago affirmed our position by ruling that Obiano did not involve in double voter registration. Obiano’s failed accusers wanted to turn our laws upside down by punishing him solely on “actus rea”( alleged discovery of two data of his in Lagos and Anambra) without finding out further why the two data exist (mens reus). The doctrine of “hear the other side” was thrown into the wind by the APC and its sectionalized media. It becomes “normal practice” when they level spurious allegations and becomes “partisan” when investigated and exposed.

In the Uke Adoration Stampede tragedy, where a stampede orchestrated by politically motivated intervening forces killed about 28 innocent persons, the APC’s artistry in falsehood and dangerous rumors became negatively professorial when it magisterially inferred that “Peter Obi killed the victims”.  Incontrovertible eyewitness accounts including that of the Chairman of the Anambra Branch of the CLO, Comrade Aloysius Emeka Attah, have since corroborated ours and that the Onitsha Catholic Archbishop. Anambra CLO and Intersociety have at least ten adoration devotees who attended the fatal session. Comrade Attah’s account is grounded in evidential law as “account of a reasonable person”. Professionally, he is a political scientist, a student of maters degree and a practicing journalist with the Sun Newspapers. He is also a devoted Catholic faithful who usually sits in front of holy altar before the beginning of every mass service. Totality of these makes his account nationally and universally acceptable and legally admissible.

Not even a public statement and lucid explanation offered by His Lordship; the Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha, Archbishop Val Okeke could dissuade the APC and its propaganda managers including Mr. Joe Igbokwe of its Lagos chapter from drawing the wrath of God and his angel warriors by accusing the Presiding Priest of the Uke Adoration Prayer Ministry, Reverend Father Emmanuel Obimma (Ebube Mmuo Nso) of “taking bribes from Governor Peter Obi to maintain silence”; and insisting that “Peter Obi killed the victims”. For the fact that the Catholic Church is highly ordered and is not a mushroom megaphone ministry without hierarchy, is not enough for the likes of Mr. Joe Igbokwe, who has chosen to lie against the Holy Spirit in the name of  playing “politics”.

The APC, which recently drew a battle line against Igbo gods and goddesses, is yet to finish it, yet it has now entered into a more consuming one by challenging the Almighty God and His heavenly Angels and other Holy Spirits to a fight over the true state of event at the Uke Adoration Ground.

Finally, in the immortal words of His Royal Majesty, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe: “Onye Merua Ala, Ala Achubiya Oso” (he who chooses to desecrate the holy land, runs without ceasing or without anybody chasing him)! Our Armpits Are Still Not Hairy!!


Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman of the Board
 International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
08033601078, 08180103912

Comrade Justus Ijeoma, Head, Publicity Desk

News Release: Uke Adoration Tragedy; Call For Urgent Actions

South East Governance Network (SEGON) received with great shock the news of the death of 28 worshippers at Holy Ghost Adoration Arena at Ukein Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State in the early hours of Saturday, 2nd of November, 2013.

SEGON is very worried by the allegation that the stampede was the fallout of the political campaign activities of All Progressives Congress (APC) and All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in thebuild up to the November 16th Gubernatorial election in Anambra State.

SEGON is worried by the emerging dangerous trend in the South East of Nigeria, where some politicians and religious leaders are negatively deploying religion in politics and governance.
SEGON therefore;
Call on the Nigeria Police and other relevant law enforcement agencies to collaboratively, independently and urgently investigate this sad and avoidable incidence, with a view to bringing all the perpetrators of this dastardly act to justice without any delay.

2.   Condemn in very strong terms any attempt by any political party or political parties to deploy violence and wanton killing of citizens as a political campaign tool in Anambra State.

3.   Condemns the negative deployment of religion in the politics and governance of the South East.

SEGON further recommends as follows;
  1. The immediate scale up of security in Anambra State by the Nigeria Police and other relevant stakeholders to halt further political violence and killing of defenseless citizens in the state. 
  1. That the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should display transparent independence and neutrality in its pronouncements and conduct in the build up to the gubernatorial election to prevent the escalation of the already tensed situation .
  2. That the Federal Government and its agencies including the National Orientation Agency (NOA) should rise up to their statutory responsibility by maximally providing for the safety of the lives and property of citizens and inhabitants of the South East of Nigeria.

SEGON expresses its heartfelt condolences to the families and relatives of the deceased victims.
For further information, SEGON can be reached at; 08035927419 or 08038292912 or 08033582275.


Cassius Ukwugbe
Special Rapportuer on Democracy (Federal and State)

Special Rapporteur on Security

Jude Ohanele

Article: Eyewitness Account Of Uke Adoration Tragedy

By Comrade Aloysius Attah

It was on a Friday, the 1ST Nov. 2013, time was 8:45 pm. As a devoted Roman Catholic by the grace of God, I had attended mass in the morning to mark the All Saints Day. I was supposed to be in Nsukka to witness and cover the Stigmatic signs often happening to Sister Martina Offorka, a mystic nun residing at Enugu – Ezike who sheds blood mysteriously with pains all over her body during Easter and All Saints period.  I had done a story about her before in the Sunday Sun newspaper and wanted to do a follow up but because my wife and I had earlier agreed to attend the Holy Ghost Adoration night vigil, I had to shelve the Nsukka trip.

I once attended the Uke Adoration Thursday morning programme in the past and knowing how difficult it was for me to find a parking space for my car; I acted on the same impulse to tell my wife that we are attending the night programme without the children which she concurred.

And so, we set out.  Tell tale signs of what to expect that night hit me when on taking the Ideani tarred road; we saw long stretch of vehicles. Negotiating the road leading to St. Dominic’s Catholic Church, Uke premises, we couldn’t drive an inch again as the entire road was filled up. We had to park immediately and joined other vehicles on double parking as directed by some stewards on duty. Henceforth, all other vehicles coming in had to park along the Ideani road and everybody trekked down to the adoration ground. There was serious human traffic not to talk of the gridlock already formed by the vehicles.

We trekked for about 30 minutes until we entered the adoration ground only to be confronted with a sea of human heads. Lights provided at the venue shone so brightly and the crowd therein was so unprecedented. The only place I’ve ever seen such large number of people in the past was at Fr. Mbaka adoration ground, Enugu and Shiloh convention of the Winners Chapel in Ota, Ogun state.

Though we carried our own chairs from the house, finding a space to perch was such a Herculean task. We finally attached ourselves in a little space through the assistance of an unknown Good Samaritan who offered to adjust for us, hers different from others who howled at us when we approached them with a similar request. 

By this time, the presiding priest, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Obimma a.k.a
Ebube Muonso was at the stage calling on the worshippers to support the adoration project with donations. This was done in between sharing of testimonies. Soon thereafter, around some minutes past ten, the mass of the night started.  As the priest was still at the opening stage of the mass, I looked side ways and guess whom I saw walking close to my side as our eye contacts met – It was Governor Peter Obi walking majestically , quietly and unannounced as a local steward was leading the way for them to proceed to the altar side. Coming in tow behind Peter was Willie Obiano, the APGA Guber candidate and others like Chief Victor Umeh, Obi’s media assistant, Barr. Valentine Obienyem, Ifeanyi Ibezi , Chief Joe Martins Uzodike and few others I can’t recollect now.  What struck me first was that they entered without noise and fanfare and without any single armed security on their trail.

It was after the mass that Fr. Obimma announced Obi’s presence and called on him to make a speech. Obi mounted the stage alone without Obiano or any other aides. He also did not make any reference to Obiano as he spoke briefly. He said that he did not come to the adoration ground for politics but rather to thank God for the gift of the church through Fr. Obimma. He reminded the congregation that his brother is a catholic priest while his sister is also a Reverend Sister. He made a pledge of N5million as part of his bazaar support to the center coming up the next Thursday and for the rehabilitation of facilities at the adoration ground and also promised to asphalt roads leading to the adoration ground with drainage and erosion control facilities. He said he would have loved to attend the bazaar if not that he was traveling outside the country with President Jonathan within the same period.  He also told Fr. Obimma to send a list of 20 indigent worshippers at the adoration ground to him to be sponsored on a pilgrimage at the holy land in the next two weeks.

What I noticed was that immediately Obi mounted the stage to talk, some worshippers who positioned themselves within the front row suddenly brandished posters of Ngige and Ifeanyi Ubah and started waving them to Obi’s face. Obi who did not betray any emotion ignored them and continued his speech. There was no single supporter of Obiano there and nobody raised APGA logo or posters there thereby justifying Obi’s assertion that he did not come for campaign.  It was Fr. Obimma that eventually reprimanded those Ngige and Ubah supporters and told everybody to comport themselves. He said that he has resolved not to turn the adoration ground into a political gathering and also declared that God has shown him who will be the next governor of the state.  Fr. Obimma said that he was shocked when he received the revelation on the anointed governor now in waiting after Obi and reminded the people on the need to pray for a violence free and successful election. He thereafter called out the President General of Uke community who extolled Obi’s virtues and later presented an award to the governor. Fr. Obimma later told Obi to kneel down and asked all the priests in attendance to raise their hands and pray for the governor.

Soon after, the adoration to the Blessed Sacrament and other prayers commenced in earnest for the night.  At about 3:30am, Obi and his group also filed out quietly leaving the arena through the same route they came.

Fr. Obimma continued in the programme and prayed for the people till around 5 am when majority of the priests who came to assist him in the vigil  began to leave quietly back to their parishes because of the Nov. 2  All Souls day mass  which they will celebrate in their various parishes too.

Before the formal closing of the programme around 5: 20am, Fr. Obimma admonished the worshippers to ensure that they attend the All Souls mass in their various parishes when they return. He also prayed for safe journey on all the participants. Before his final blessings, many have started leaving in droves leading to another rush.

When my wife suggested we join the queue immediately, I instinctively told her that we don’t need to rush after all, even if we succeed in pushing our way out of the crowd, we shall still remain stuck when we get to the car since we shall encounter another serious traffic there.  And so we waited till around 6 am before stepping out of the adoration podium.

On trying to join the line of people filing out of the main access road out of the place, we encountered the worst gridlock ever seen in history. People were pushing and shoving. Some were battling to maintain composure even with their plastic chairs and wooden benches. Women battled for their own and for the safety of their children clutched in their hands and some tied on their backs.

People were getting choked up and I sensed that there may be a stampede the next moment and signaled to my wife that we must get out of the queue without further delay. Trying to wriggle out of the tight scene was like a war front but I managed to use the ‘last’ strength in me to push and pulled my wife out of the scene and we stood aside to allow the ‘Russians’ to continue their rush.

Not up to 5 minutes after, my worst fears was confirmed.   Few meters away from my presence, the pushing and shoving turned into great fall and stampede. A woman frying akara by the road side in the compacted road was said to have shouted for people to beware of the oil fire. That the road was sloppy and the ground wet compounded the whole situation. Many tripped over and fell, others rolled on the ground while many stepped on people’s heads and bellies. The next thing was suffocation and exhaustion, injuries and bruises.

While casualties were many, rescue operations were stalled by vehicular and human traffic. The stewards on duty had to jump fences to smuggle the affected people back to the podium for resuscitation and first aid.

Of particular commendation are the nurses, local workers and men of the Red Cross Society who worked tirelessly to save lives. Some of the victims were carried on stretchers, others strapped on the backs while some were carried on the head like dead bodies being conveyed after fighting in a war front.

It was such a pathetic sight that women and children not affected wailed uncontrollably including my wife.

While resuscitation was ongoing, the prayer warriors also embarked on intensive prayer warfare with Fr. Obimma leading the pack. People like us also provided emergency phone numbers of the police and Road safety corps while assisting in rescuing the affected.

As the day progressed and the reality dawned that many will not survive the accident, some mischievous people began to make snide remarks.

Some said “Look at what Peter Obi has caused us; Ngige came in the day why did he come in the night”? “They have come to use our blood to win this election” and so many other unprintable things.

As I listened to these unfounded remarks, my mind began to wander that wicked and desperate politicians were at work. A reliable source had earlier told me that Dr. Chris Ngige and his political allies in APC planted an informant in Obi and APGA government’s camp who gives them reliable information on the governor and APGA campaign train activities. That in most instances, Ngige tries to beat the governor by first of all visiting any place the governor scheduled to visit ahead of time and make political statements to rubbish the governor’s image or most times, he will wait till the actual time of the governor’s visit, storm the venue when Obi will be making a remark and eventually cause a stir and distraction with cheers of Onwa! Onwa! from the rented crowd . I never believed this until events were to prove my source right.

While we were still at the adoration ground trying to save lives, the same source alerted me that Obi will see fire from this incident going by the propaganda machine APC and Ngige will make out of his coincidental visit and the tragedy that happened.  I was therefore shocked to the marrow when on reaching home around 12pm, the story was all over the internet that the stampede and deaths were caused by Obi’s thugs and security who fired shots and tear gas on the worshippers in anger because Obi was booed at the adoration ground. Haba! Are they trying to tell us that Obi’s security details that never entered or got close to the adoration ground could come into the same arena by dawn when Obi had left with them by 3:30 am?

Even our fellow Awka based journalists (correspondents) who have never hidden their loyalty to Ngige though they freely participate in collecting any ‘jenwu’ and ‘gbalamu’ dropped from the governor’s camp decided to wickedly anchor their story on this falsehood without bothering to cross check facts or visit the scene of the incident.

Nothing can be more wicked and inhuman than this kind of malicious politicking and journalism.  Till now, I’m still wondering and searching to find out how Obi could be held responsible for this calamity either directly or vicariously.  Between Obi who dropped his security details along Ideani road and trekked for more than 30 minutes to and fro the adoration ground and  Ngige who allegedly  planted his supporters at the adoration ground for sinister motives, who is responsible and who should be held liable?

The desperation of   some politicians in Anambra State has got to be addressed and curtailed. There will only emerge one governor at a time after the Nov. 16 2013 elections in Anambra state and I don’t think the race to the Awka government house is worth dying or killing for.

Our catechism doctrine taught us that one can also commit murder not only by physical killing with guns, weapons or poisoning but also by character assassination and verbal missiles.  It is quite painful that instead of people having real sympathy for the dead and the bereaved, they turn around to feast on such tragic incident to score cheap political points. The wrath of God is coming and it will be disastrous.

We thank the Metropolitan Archbishop of Onitsha, Most Rev. Valerian Maduka Okeke for getting first hand information from the Spiritual Director of the ministry, Rev. Fr. Obimma and issuing a statement immediately clarifying issues about the unfortunate incident.

We condole with the families of the affected and the Spiritual Director for this unexpected challenge and call for effective crowd control measures that will avert this kind of incident in the future.

Governor Obi should also be commended for the prompt response and empathy shown to the victims as he immediately cancelled all other engagements for the day and visited the scene and all the hospitals where the victims were taken to.

Efforts should be made to identify all the affected families, with the adoration ministry and the state government playing lead roles in their burial, funeral and other expenses for the survivors.

Eternal rests grant the dead oh lord and may your perpetual light shine upon them forever, amen.

(Comrade Attah, Chairman, Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) writes from Onitsha, Anambra state. Email :