Normal church services were held at St. Philips Catholic Church, Ozubulu, Anambra, a week after gunmen killed worshipers during early morning service.
The church was sealed after Aug. 6 massacre which claimed 11 people and 18 others sustaining various degrees of injury.
A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who attended the church service, reports that there was an initial low turn-out of parishioners but the attendance later picked up.
NAN reports that the service was attended by officials of the state government led by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu.
Also, present at the Mass was Aloysius Ikegwuonu, popularly called ‘Bishop” and one of the chieftains of the village, who was alleged to have been the target of the Aug 6 attack.
IIkegwuonu, who lost his father in the attack, refused to talk to newsmen, but one of his aides said his principal would talk at appropriate time.
Security operatives were seen in and around the church wielding arms.
In his homily, Rev. Fr. Jude Onwuaso, the Parish Priest, encouraged parishioners not to be deterred by Aug 6 attack, adding that “God is still on the throne”.
Ownuaso said that the slain parishioners were at the right hand of the Almighty.
Some Parishioners told NAN that many of them were yet to overcome the shock of the invasion.
Mr Jude Okoye, a parishioner, said he forced himself to attend church service because of his deep religious understanding that a Christian believer must experience persecution to make to heaven.
NAN recalled that a delegation of the federal government led by Minister Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, visited the place on Saturday Aug.12 to condole with the state.
As Gunmen Attack Church In Anambra
Some people suspected to be gunmen on Sunday, shot dead a policeman and a civilian near Assemblies of God Church, Oguta Road Onitsha, Anambra.
An eyewitness said that the gunmen had stopped near the Church, adding that on sighting some policemen at the church, they opened fire on them.
The source also said the attackers made away with the rifle of the slain policeman.
“When the firing became too hot, the policemen abandoned their patrol vehicle and ran away for safety.
“The gunmen moved to their patrol van and took a gun belonging to the policeman they killed,” he said.
The eye witness said he could not identify the number of armed men involved.
Another eyewitness said, “Gunmen on Okada (motorcycle) shot a policeman and collected his rifle.
They also shot dead an Okada man while escaping and the passenger he was carrying was injured.
The policeman was the one armed among his colleagues; they were providing security while church service was going on at Assemblies of God Church, Oguta road Onitsha.
Reacting to the incident, Mr Garba Umar Commissioner of Police in Anambra confirmed the incident to journalists.
Umar said it was not an attack on the church, adding that the gunmen took away a rifle belonging to the slain cop.
“My men were on patrol near the church when they were attacked by some gunmen. ‘’It was not an attack on the church in the real sense of it, “he said.
Unknown gunmen on Aug. 6 attacked worshipers at St. Philips Catholic Church, Ozubulu, Ekwusigo council in Anambra, killing no fewer than 13 persons and injured 27.
A Federal Government delegation,led by Sen. Chris Ngige had on Aug. 12 visited Anambra to condole the people and government of the state as well as the Catholic Diocese of Nnewi over the incident.