Onitsha Provincial Bishops rose from their
meeting at Enugu the capital of Enugu State on
Tuesday afternoon 10th May 2016 to visit
Nimbo, Uzo Uwani LGA of Enugu State where
suspected Fulani Herdsmen inflicted brutal
crimes on Nimbo people; killing scores of people, maiming dozens of victims, torching down
buildings and internally displacing the entire
community on 25th April 2016.
The Provincial Bishops visited one of the sites, St
Mary’s Parish, Nimbo, where the inhuman acts
were meted out on innocent souls at the early
hours of that painful date. The leader of the
college of bishops was His Grace, Most Rev. Dr.
Valerian Maduka Okeke, the Archbishop and Metropolitan of Onitsha.
Other Bishops present were: Most Rev. Dr.
Callistus Onaga of Enugu Diocese; Most Rev. Dr.
Hilary Odili Okeke of Nnewi Diocese; Most Rev. Dr.
John Ifeanyi Okoye of Awgu Diocese; Most Rev.
Dr. Paulinus C. Ezeokafor of Awka; Most Rev. Dr.
Dennis Isizu Auxiliary Bishop of Onitsha; Most Rev. Dr. Jonas Benson Okoye Auxiliary Bishop of
Awka; and the host Bishop Most Rev. Dr. Godfrey
Igwebuike Onah of Nsukka Diocese. Other
Bishops who were in solidarity with the visit
though they were not present were Most Rev. Dr.
Michael Okoro of Abakiliki; Most Rev. Dr. Francis Okobo Emeritus Bishop of Nsukka and Most Rev.
Dr. Anthony Okonkwo Gbuji the Emeritus Bishop
Present during the visit were Monsignor
Evaristus Nwamadi of Enugu Diocese who was
on his private visit when the bishops arrived; a
handful of priests of Nsukka diocese including
Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Amuluche Nnamani, Rev. Fr.
Martins Ozioko, Rev. Fr. Dr. Brendan Nwodo, other Catholic priests and two Anglican priests.
The convoy of Bishops arrived Nimbo shortly
before 4pm on 10th May 2016 after they rose
from their meeting in Enugu. Before they got to
Nimbo, a crowd of the Nimbo people who were
already coming home after they had deserted
their homes at the wake of the heinous crimes was at hand to welcome the bishops and their
entourage. As soon as the bishops arrived the
arena was electrified with joy.
The host Bishop Godfrey Onah quickly
welcomed the Bishops and introduced the
august visitors to the Nimbo people. He
highlighted the fervent desires of the bishops to
visit Nimbo people in spite of the stress of their
earlier meeting in Enugu. “I told them that the road is very far, but they insisted they must visit.
I told them that the roads are very bad, they
maintained they must visit because the stories
they hear of what happened in our place were
heartbreaking and difficult to bear. They insisted
they would visit to console us, and to tell us that they are joined to us in prayers”.
Leading the opening prayer, at the request of the
Metropolitan of Onitsha Most Rev. Dr. Valerian
Okeke, the Bishop of Nnewi Diocese Most Rev. Dr.
Hilary Okeke thanked God for saving some lives
of the Nimbo people.
He prayed for the happy repose of the deceased,
and prayed God to avert such untold suffering
on the people. He prayed that their visit to the
community would further express God’s love to
His people. Bishop Okeke prayed for security of
lives and properties of all Nigerians and across the country. He prayed for peace and progress in
In his speech, the Metropolitan of Onitsha, His
Grace Most Rev. Dr. Valerian Maduka Okeke
explained that their visit was in solidarity with
the Nimbo people and the Catholic Diocese of
Nsukka. Using Igbo proverbs he expressed the
heartfelt desire of the Bishops to console the Nimbo people. “We heard what happened. It
was scourging. It was sorrowful.
It was so painful because if there was war,
people would have known and prepared
themselves. But to be sleeping or resting and all
of a sudden one is besieged and invaded, it is
very painful. However, the most painful side of
the story is that we are told that those who committed this crime had no provocation from
none of their victims. It is very bad.
“We appeal to governments and security agents
to take up their responsibilities very seriously. If
they are called upon, they should respond
appropriately to prevent future occurrences. I
want to tell you that we have been praying for
you ever since we heard your sad stories. Be consoled. May God wipe your tears”, the
Archbishop consoled them.
In modesty, the Metropolitan of Onitsha
announced their handsome donations of
hundred bags of rice and money to the people.
It was the host Bishop Godfrey Igwebuike Onah
who explained further to the Nimbo people the
magnanimous donation of the Onitsha Provincial Catholic Bishops. He explained that the Bishops
were donating hundred bags of rice worth one
million, five hundred naira (N1.5m) with an
accompanying eight million, five hundred naira
The people were thrilled with joy. When our
reporters spoke to some of the people, they said
that the gesture of the Bishops has shown they
cared for the wellbeing of their flock. Others
hipped praises on the Bishops. One man said he
would live and die a Catholic. The Dean of Adani Deanery, Very Rev. Fr. Frederick Omegoha, was
there too to receive the Bishops.
Grabbing the microphone, he broke into songs.
The parish priest, Rev. Fr. Joseph Okeke Obetta
narrated to the bishops how the ordeal took
place. He too broke into songs as he spoke to
the admiration of some bishops, while some
others fought back tears. It would be recalled that the suspected Fulani Herdsmen attempted
severally to raze down his rectory, but at the
end, they could not. They only left after firing
series of gun shots into the building to kill
whoever was hiding inside.