Some gunmen wielding sophisticated weapons have invaded St. Martin of Tours Catholic Parish in the Ihiala local government area of Anambra State.

It was learnt that the attack took place on Thursday night.

This comes as the battle for the soul of the Parish between the parishioners and concerned citizens of Ihiala on the one side and the Catholic Diocese of Nnewi on the other side exacerbated.

Although the mission of the armed men could not be ascertained immediately, they were said to have been led into the church premises by two Reverend Fathers, one of them the parish priest of a new parish created recently by the Bishop of Nnewi Diocese, Most Reverend Jonas Benson Okoye.

An eyewitness on Friday morning that the armed men wore black attire and covered their faces. Also according to the eyewitness, the assailants tied up the security guards at the church and dispossessed them of their mobile phones.

The parish priest of the church, Rev Fr Val Eze, confirmed the invasion of the church to a local medium, The Razor.

He said the gunmen invaded the church and occupied the premises around 9.15 pm on Thursday.

He, however, added that the invaders had not approached the residence of the priests, adding that “we are safe in the parish house”.

It was reported that the Spiritians otherwise known as Holy Ghost Fathers who reside in the parish, have not been celebrating Masses in Nnewi Diocese as the Bishop had revoked their faculty.

The Bishop of the Diocese had accused the Holy Ghost Fathers of not cooperating with the Diocese in resolving certain issues, including attempts to create new parishes out of St Martin’s and payment to the owners of the land acquired by the church



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