Emeka Merenu, a priest with the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, has been killed by yet-to-be-identified gunmen in Iheteukwa, Orsu LGA of Imo state.
Merenu was shot in his parsonage in the early hours of Tuesday.
A car belonging to the priest, who hails from Amorji Agbomori in Nkwerre LGA, was also set ablaze.
The killing of the priest comes hours after gunmen invaded Comprehensive Secondary School, Nkume in Njaba LGA of Imo, and chased away students who were participating in the ongoing 2021 West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE), on Monday.
Sources told TheCable that the hoodlums attacked the priest in his parsonage for allegedly inviting soldiers to secure the mission school, where he serves as the principal.
His attackers stormed the church compound where he lived, butchered him and burnt his car before running away.”
Asked what could be the reason for the murder, the source said, “The church has a school on the premises. His attackers might have been angry that the slain priest was giving security protection to the students of the school who were writing this year’s WASSCE for Senior Secondary schools.”
A senior member of the church in Orlu Anglican diocese who preferred to be anonymous confirmed the incident to our correspondent.
Michael Abattam, police spokesperson in the state, told TheCable that the command is yet to get such report.
“You are just informing me about this incident. The command will investigate the matter and make our stand known in no distant time,” he told TheCable over the phone.
The development comes amid the sit-at-home order by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), which has grounded activities in parts of the south-east.
Some private school owners in Imo had expressed concern that the sit-at-home order has disrupted their scheduled resumption of school activities.
IPOB had, on July 30, ordered a sit-at-home in the south-east every Monday until Nnamdi Kanu, its leader, is released from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Although the group had later announced a suspension of the order, there have been attacks in parts of the south-east allegedly linked to enforcement of the directive.
Credit: The Cable.