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Monday, April 3

Masquerades attack Catholic seminarian with machetes


Nsukka— Some masquerades in the university town of Nsukka, Enugu State have beaten up a Catholic seminarian attached to Nsukka diocese to a pulp, robbed him of cash and his mobile phone and left him with machete cuts.
Reacting to the incident, Catholic Bishop of Nsukka Diocese, Bishop Godfrey Onah, condemned the activities of  masquerades popularly called Oriokpa. 

*Bishop Godfrey Igwebuike Onah of Nsukka Diocese being crowned by His Eminence, John Cardinal Olorunfemi Onaiyekan. PHOTO: HILL EZEUGWU
Speaking, yesterday, in Nsukka during a church service at St. Theresa’s Cathedral, Nsukka, Bishop Onah urged law enforcement agencies to treat masquerades that block roads, beat, harm  and extort money from people as terrorists and cultists.
“It’s unfortunate that in this 21st century, some youths in Nsukka area would cover their faces, block  roads, beat and extort money from people who go about their legitimate businesses in the name of masquerades,” he said.
According to the Bishop, “on Wednesday, March 29, a seminarian serving in Nsukka diocese, Lawrence Ezugwu, while on his way to Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC, Nsukka district office to pay electricity bill was beaten to a pulp by a group of masquerades that blocked Enugu road at Ugwuoye Nsukka.
“The seminarian has been in the hospital since Wednesday when the incident happened.
“This is a sacrilege and an abomination. The church will ensure that all those involved are brought to book as well as fight to bring this evil culture to an end. As bishop of this diocese, I am ready to lay down my life to stop this man’s inhumanity to man by masquerades  who block roads, harm people, rape young girls, extort money from road users and intimidate innocent residents with weapons in the name of culture.
“The Nsukka Oriokpa masquerade is an evil cult. Anybody engaging in it is worshipping idol.”
Contacted, Mr Ebere Amaraizu, Enugu State Police Public Relations Officer confirmed the incident and said one of the masquerades was already in police custody.
“Investigation has been intensified to ensure that all those involved in that unfortunate incident are arrested and charged to court,” he said

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