September 15, (THEWILL) – Gunmen have murdered the priest-in-charge of St Andrew’s Anglican church, Ihitte-Ukwa, Imo state.
The priest, identified as Rev. Emeka Merenu, serving under the Anglican Diocese of Orlu, was butchered to death in his personage on Tuesday morning, September 14, by assailants suspected to be members of the ESN and IPOB.
THEWILL gathered that the priest was killed over the unfounded allegation that he brought in soldiers to secure the church and school under his supervision.
A member of the church revealed to newsmen in confidence that the attackers stormed the church premises and killed the priest.
His vehicle was not left out, as the hoodlums set it on fire before fleeing thereafter.
“The priest in charge of St Andrew’s Anglican Church in Ihitte-Ukwa in Orsu Local Government Area of Imo State was killed this morning. His attackers stormed the church compound where he lived, cut him up and burnt his car before running away.”
Asked what could be the reason for the murder, the source said, “The church has a school on the premises. His attackers might have been angry that the slain priest was giving security protection to the students of the school who were writing this year’s WASSCE for Senior Secondary Schools.”
The deceased priest’s request for protection might not be unconnected to the gunmen invasion of Comprehensive Secondary School, Nkume, Imo state. The gunmen, enforcing the sit-at-home order given by IPOB, had chased away students who were participating in the ongoing 2021 West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
A senior member of the church in Orlu Anglican diocese, who preferred to remain anonymous, confirmed the incident, saying the diocese has been thrown into mourning.
Spokesperson of the State Police Command, Micheal Abattam, who confirmed the murder said investigations have commenced with the intention of arresting the culprits.