Youths on Monday protested the reopening of St. Philips Catholic Church, Ozubulu, Anambra State for worship a week after 13 people were killed inside the church by gunmen.
The church was attacked on August 6 by gunmen and 13 worshippers were killed while 27 sustained varying degrees of injury.
The Catholic Bishop of Nnewi Diocese, The Most Rev. Hilary Okeke, rededicated and opened the place for worship on Sunday even as some government officials joined other worshippers for the Sunday service.
The youths, who marched from Ozubulu Motor Park to the Ekwusigo Local Government headquarters through the Ozubulu Police Station to the palace of the traditional ruler of the community, Obi Nnamdi Oruche, described the reopening of the church as a mark of insensibility.
Addressing journalists, the President of Ozubulu Youth Association, Mr. Emeka Anakwe, said, “Reopening the church is the highest level of disregard for the dead and wounded people of Ozubulu. We see it as provocation to the families and relations of the victims for the church to be holding service when the community is still mourning its dead. We cannot accept it.”
Anakwe, who condemned the attack on the innocent worshippers, added, “The youths of Ozubulu are concerned about the attack because the entire people of Ozubulu are now living in fear; we cannot sleep comfortably anymore and our people can no longer sleep with their eyes closed because of fear of recurrence.”
He blamed the distortions in the town on the elders, saying, “Elders of this town have neglected the youths for so long, and we will no longer accept such disposition from the elders of the community as we are prepared to play active role in the issues that affect the community and our people.”