By Jude Atupulazi
Some former inmates of Awka Prisons from Abagana, Njikoka LGA who were detained over a communal land dispute with neighbouring Ukpo Village, have given thanks to God over their freedom. At a thanksgiving Mass at St Mark’s Catholic Church, Abagana, the former inmates who used a cow for offertory, said it was in fulfilment of a pledge they made to God while in detention.
Spokesman of the group, Mr Charles Nwazojie, recalling to Fides how they landed in prison, said they were arrested one day from their various homes and taken to Awka Prisons over what they knew little about, just because some people from their neighbouring community who felt they had money, wanted to make them scapegoats.
He said that after spending more than a year in detention during which two people died, they were asked to sign letters of undertaking so they would be released.
Nwazojie, popularly known as Summer, said he and some others from Abagana refused to sign, a development, he said, that had resulted in their case still being in
He however expressed gratitude to God for seeing them through, noting that they decided to fulfil their pledge of thanking God with a cow.
Earlier in his homily, a visiting priest from St Michael’s Parish, Urualla, stressed the need for the faithful to be ready at all times by living good lives as though each day would be their last. He noted that any life lived in sin was meaningless and inadequate as it distanced one from God.
He also charged Christians to tell the truth always regardless of the consequences, while blaming leaders who shied away from the truth for fear of losing their positions.
The priest who described Nigeria as a bleeding country owing to the killings across the land, urged the faithful to speak out in defence of their faith.
The parish vicar, Fr Aloysius Amamchukwu, at the end of the Mass, expressed gratitude to those who helped at Mass, particularly the visiting priest, and Monsignor Basil Nwazojie.