Posted by Ifeoma Okafor, Awka | 13 January 2018 | 2,429 times
Chief Cyprian Ikegwuonu, the father of a South Africa-based business man, High Chief Alloysius Ikegwuonu (well known as Bishop), who was among the 13 people killed by gunmen during a church service in Ozubulu, Anambra State on August 6, 2017, was on Friday buried in grand style amidst very tight security.
The killing of Chief Cyprian Ikegwuonu and 12 other worshipers came as a rude shock to the community and the entire state as the gunmen allegedly stormed the church after a failed attempt at tracking down Bishop in his country home located directly behind St. Phillip's Catholic Church.
In his sermon at the requiem mass, the officiating priest, Rev. Father Don Chidolue, Episcopal Vicar of Ozubulu region, disclosed that the church decided to bury the victims of the attack at its cemetery as martyrs.
He said that Pa Ikegwuonu and 12 others, by the nature of their death which occurred right inside the church, had been proclaimed martyrs.
“We buried them together so that the church will not easily forget them. Burying them together will serve as a memorial, and anytime someone looks in there, he would remember that such an incident had happened, and some people paid the ultimate price.
“Out of the 13 people that were killed in the attack, nine were buried in the church’s cemetery, while four were taken away by their relatives who insisted that their remains be interred in their ancestral homes.”
While describing Pa Ikegwuonu as a very charitable personality, who, like his son, Aloysius, impacted the lives of people of the community, the priest explained that giving is one of the ways people could attract the mercy of God.
The Priest further called on all present at the funeral to live worthy lives that would guarantee them eternity.
The burial was conducted amidst tight security as the Police command in Awka, the state capital, had earlier hinted that it was deploying a retinue of security officer to the area to forestall any attack, especially as those behind the attack had earlier threatened the community with further attacks if their financial demands were not met.
Those buried alongside Pa Ikegwuonu at the cemetery were Mrs. Cecilia Ewim, Chief Hyacinth Oramadike, Mrs. Geraldine Obunadike and her daughter, Miss Uchenna Obunadike.
Others were Mrs. Pauline Obetta, Mrs. Rose Nwabia and little Miss Marycynthia Ughelu, who is said to be just one-year-old.
Although the story that trailed the attack was that Bishop was trailed to his country home by the gunmen following a deal gone awry, he has since denied having any such dealing with anyone to warrant such action.
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