News Brief

11 People Reported Dead After Gang-Related Church Shooting In Nigeria

At least 11 people have been reported dead, and 18 wounded, after a supposed gang-related church shooting in Nigeria.

NIGERIA—At least 11 people were killed and 18 wounded, in a mass shooting in Southern Nigeria on Sunday, BBC Africa reports.


Police in the area believe that the attack at St. Phillip's Catholic Church, happened as a result of sparring between Nigerians from Ozubulu—a large city in Anambra state—who were living abroad. The church was built by one of the expats, says the State Police Commissioner, Garba Umar.

Umar also stated that the attack could possible be linked to drug-trafficking.

Officials believe that the attack was carried out by a lone gunman, hired to kill one of the church's members.

Jude Onwuaso, the parish priest gave his account of the events to the BBC:

"After the first round, there was second round and I guess it was during the second round that people were shot dead," he said. "When I came back I discovered that some of my parishioners were dead, about five or six I saw shot dead bleeding."

"A lot of people were injured, some were shot in the stomach, some were shot in the head and some were shot in the hand."

Emeka Umeagbalasi, a local human rights activists, told a different story, stating that more than one man was responsible for the attack, and their mission was to kill the son of a local chief.

There have been varying accounts as to who carried out the attack and whether it was a single man or a larger group of assailants, but the incident is believed to be a one-off event with no links to Boko Haram.

"It is definitely not a terrorist attack in the mould of Boko Haram or Fulani herdsmen attack," read a police statement posted on Sunday. "It is sacrilegious but for now, it is still premature to disclose the identities, we will brief the public after investigation is concluded."

Interview

Interview: Terri Is Stepping Out of the Shadows

We talk to the Wizkid-signed artist about the story behind the massive hit "Soco" and his latest Afro Series EP.

Certain afrobeats songs have made in-roads in international markets and paved the way for the genre's ceaselessly-rising widespread recognition. Among these history-defining songs were D'banj's "Oliver Twist," Tekno's "Pana," Davido's "If" & "Fall," Runtown's "Mad Over You," and of course, Wizkid's "Soco." Wizkid released "Soco" under his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment in March 2018, and the song spread like wildfire across Africa and beyond. "Soco" was an Afro-pop wonder delivered at a time when the 'afrobeats to the world' movement was gathering steam, further cementing its electric nature. The Northboi-produced song was co-signed by celebrities across the world like Rihanna, Cardi B, and Paul Pogba and has accrued well over a hundred million streams across streaming platforms worldwide.

"Soco" was not only a trailblazer amongst mid-2010s afrobeats records, it was also the introduction of the first Wizkid-signed artist, Terri. Just weeks before "Soco" was released, Terri was discovered by Wizkid's longtime producer, Mutay, who saw him covering the song "Oshe" on social media.

Before "Soco," Terri Akewe was well on his way to fame. At fifteen, he had performed at street carnivals in his neighbourhood and, one time, was carried all the way home by neighbours after winning a Coca-Cola sponsored singing competition. Before his life-changing meeting with Wizkid, Terri had a seven-track EP ready for release, as well as a viral song titled "Voices." "One time I was on set with the video director T.G Omori, he told me that 'Voices' was the first time he heard of me" Terri tells me as we settle on a plush couch at his home in Lagos.

Regardless of Terri's initial career trajectory; signing to a label headed by afrobeats' biggest superstar was bound to accelerate his musical journey, and at the same time, cast a huge shadow of expectation on his career, especially given a debut as spectacular as "Soco." With his latest EP, Afro Series, powered by the sensational single "Ojoro," one thing is clear: Terri is stepping out of the shadows into his own spotlight and he is doing it on his own terms.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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