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Police Arrest Violent Masquerade over Attack on Catholic Seminarian

By IGNATIUS OKPARA, Enugu

…They Are Terrorists, Cultists –Bishop

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Enugu state police Command says it has arrested one of the violent masquerades, popularly called “oriokpa Nsukka”, that recently attacked a Catholic seminarian in Nsukka.

African Examiner recalled that over the years, the masquerades have remained thorns in the flesh of residents and visitors, who are always forced to part with some money or get the beating of their lives, just as they rape women on regular basis.

Our Correspondent learnt that their latest victim is a seminarian, identified as Lawrence Ezeugwu, who is currently in critical condition following beatings and matchet cuts he received from the masked men.

Ebere Amaizu, the Enugu State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO who confirmed the attack monday,said that one of the masquerades was already in police custody.

According to him, “The police in Nsukka have arrested one of the masquerades that beat and gave knife cut to a Catholic seminarian.

“Investigation and efforts are being intensified to ensure that all those involved on that unfortunate incident are arrested and charged to court,” he said.

However, the Catholic Diocese of Nsukka Enugu State, South- East Nigeria on Sunday, expressed sadness over the attack on the future Rev. Father by a group of violent masquerades.

The Bishop of the Diocese, Professor Godfrey Onah, had in his reaction called on the law security agencies to treat masquerades that block roads, beat, harm and extort money from members of the public as terrorists and cultists.

He said: “It is unfortunate that in this 21st century some youths in Nsukka area will cover their face and block roads, beating and extorting money from people who are going about their legitimate businesses in the name of masquerade.

“The security agents should treat these criminals who hide under the guise of masquerade to harass and harm law-abiding citizens as terrorists and cultists,” he insisted.

According to the Bishop, the Seminarian, who was on his way to the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC ) Nsukka district, to pay electricity bill was beaten to coma by a group of masquerades that blocked Enugu Road.

He added that after beating him, they gave him a knife cut on the head, leading to his now being hospitalized.

“This is a sacrilege and an abomination and the church will ensure that all those involved are brought to book, as well as fight to put this evil culture to an end.

“As Bishop of the diocese, I am ready to lay down my life in fighting to stop this man’s inhumanity to man by masquerades in Nsukka who block roads, harm people, rape young girls, extort money from road users and intimidate innocent residents,” he vowed.

The Bishop said the matter was immediately reported to the police and that the police had arrested one of the masquerades.

Onah described the masquerades in Nsukka as a cult and a form of idol worship and vowed to deal with any Catholic member engaging in masquerade no matter the position of the person in the church.

“The Nsukka Oriokpa masquerade is evil cult and a form of idol worship; anybody engaging in it is worshipping idol,” he declared.

 

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