Catholic Bishop Condemns Killing of Residents, Razing of Markets in Nigeria’s Orlu Diocese

Bishop Augustine Tochukwu Ukwuoma of Nigeria's Orlu Diocese. Credit: CBCN

The Bishop of Nigeria’s Catholic Diocese of Orlu has condemned the September 17 killing of two residents and torching of markets in two South-east communities of his Episcopal See allegedly by troops belonging to Nigerian “government security agencies”.

On September 17, Nigerian troops invaded Orsu-Ihiteukwa Community in Orsu Local Government Area (LGA) of Imo State and Orsumugho, a community in Ihiala LGA of Anambra State, Premium Times reported. The attack, according to reports, left two persons dead and several shops razed.

In a statement obtained by ACI Africa on Thursday, September 22, Bishop Augustine Tochukwu Ukwuoma expresses solidarity with those who lost their loved ones in the attacks, which he says “is gradually becoming a symbolism for evil and darkness”.

In a statement obtained by ACI Africa on Tuesday, September 20, Bishop Augustine Tochukwu Ukwuoma narrates the two attacks and expresses solidarity with those who lost their loved ones.

“On Saturday September 17, 2022, armed men alleged to be government security agencies invaded Orsuihiteukwa community in Orsu Local Government Area of Imo State. This exercise resulted in the death of some people and the burning down of Eke ututu market which is the economic mainstay of the people of Orsu Local Government Area and other surrounding communities,” Bishop Ukwuoma narrates in his statement dated September 20.


The Nigerian Catholic Bishop adds, “I have severally in the past condemned the wasting of human life either by state or non-state actors.”

“I still maintain the view that human life is sacred and should be respected,” Bishop Ukwuoma says, and continues, “Violence begets violence and the circle continues. Genuine dialogue remains the answer.”

The Local Ordinary of Orlu Diocese goes on to express his “sincere condolences to ALL families who lost loved ones during this painful incident.”

“May the souls of these our brethren rest in peace,” the Catholic Bishop who has been at the helm of Orlu Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination in June 2008 implores.

The September 17 attack comes barely three weeks after troops reportedly invaded Orsu-Ihiteukwa community, killing three residents.

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In his September 20 statement, Bishop Ukwuoma says, “The burning down of Eke ututu market has added another sad dimension to our existing bad situation.”

“The inhabitants of this area are petty traders and subsistence farmers who live basically from hand to mouth,” the Nigerian Catholic Bishop says, adding, “They go to the market to sell their produce and buy food for the day to feed their families.” 

He further says, “The burning down of this market has negatively touched the very core of the existence of these people who may be changed to a life of misery given the present economic strangulation we are in.”

The 69-year-old Nigerian Bishop appeals to government authorities in Nigeria “to investigate this incident and take necessary steps to prevent reoccurrence.”

“I appeal to all to remain steadfast in our prayer for peace in our region,” he implores in his September 20 statement. 


Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.