Prominent Nigerians have been reacting to gunmen attack on worshippers in Owo.
9Janewshub.com.ng reports that reactions have trailed gunmen attack on worshippers at St. Xavier Francis Catholic Church, Owo Ondo state.
9Janewshub.com.ng gathered that St. Xavier Francis Catholic Church is located behind the Olowo of Owo palace, just beside Mega School at Owaluwa area of Owo local government area, Ondo State was attacked by yet to be identified gunmen that killed over 50 worshippers including innocent unarmed adult, aged, children, babies, pregnant women able body men and women during a church service on Sunday, June 5, 2022.
The gunmen as gathered by this Newspaper launched a dynamite into the church and started shooting sporadically on the worshippers that were trying to escape from the church.
Sources revealed that the parish priest was abducted by the gunmen and escaped from the scene.
Governor Oyetola made this known via a statement signed by Mrs. Funke Egbemode, the state Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation.
Oyetola through the statement expressed sympathy to the families of victims of the attack and assured the state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu and the government of Ondo State of his support in every way possible.
Also in his reaction, Ekiti state Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, discribed the attack as babaric.
Dr Fayemi, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, described the attack as vile, barbaric and callous, adding that there can never be any justification for the heinous behaviour of the assailants.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), also commiserated with the Governor of Ondo State, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), the people of Ondo State over the sad incident.
He urged security agencies in the state to ensure that the perpetrators of the crime are apprehended and made to face the full wrath of the law. He also tasked them to remain vigilant.
However, Professor Banji Akintoye the leader of the Apex Body for Yoruba Self-Determination and Self-Preservation Movement, Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide (IOOW), has described the Sunday morning deadly attack allegedly unleashed against Christian Worshipers at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo-State by Gunmen suspected to be Fulani Herdsmen, leaving about 85 people dead, as a declaration of War Against the Yoruba People.
Akintoye responding through the Communications Secretary of IOOW, Mr. Maxwell Adeleye, Akintoye called on the State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, to declare an emergency against the activities of Fulani Herdsmen in the state with immediate effect.
The renowned scholar said the effrontery of the Fulani Marauders needs to be frankly and courageously confronted so as to prove to their sponsors that the Yoruba people can never be intimidated or subjugated.
He said to permanently solve the Fulani Herdsmen’s quagmire, the Yoruba People need to negotiate their exit from the Union of Nigeria without further delay.
“We have stated it very expressly that the Yoruba people need to negotiate their exit from Nigeria as a matter of urgency but our Partisan Political Actors in Yoruba Land never took us serious. We warned them that there’s fire on the mountain but we were mocked because of their personal aggrandizement.
“Today, we have all been encircled, most especially, in Lagos. For Herdsmen to have the effrontery of bombarding a Church in Yoruba Land to kill about 85 people shows that we are now in a realistic danger. Akintoye stated.
In his reaction, the Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Adams also condemned the attack.
Adams in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Aderemi, said the incident was ungodly and capable of threatening the foundation and existence of Nigeria.
He described the perpetrators of the gory attack as evil, saying they have sinned against God and should be ready to face the wrath of the most high God.
Expressing concern on the spate of insecurity across the country, the Yoruba generalissimo insisted that the Federal Government has failed in its efforts to secure the country, wondering why it has become a crime to go the church to worship.
“Cases of Boko Haram and Bandits and other criminal elements always attacking churches and mosques have simply showed the failure of the government. It has also exposed the crass incompetence of Nigeria leaders and the security apparatus.
“Reports at my disposal showed clearly that the attackers actually disguised as worshippers of the church, planted an explosive device within the church premises and carried out their evil attack on innocent worshippers.
“They later kidnapped the Reverend Father, leaving worshippers cold dead in the pool of their blood. The criminals, according to reports, did not come with vehicles, they hijacked vehicle on the road to convey their victims.
“Meanwhile, owner of the hijacked vehicle had gone to Owo A. Division to report the incident, even as all the roads in the ancient town had reportedly been deserted as people had stayed off the roads.
“The Federal Government must rise to its responsibility, begin thorough investigation into the attack and also bring the perpetrators of this gory incident to book. Investigation into the Owo Catholic bomb attack should not be swept under the carpet. Those that carried out the attack are not ghost, they must be apprehended immediately,” Adams said.
While condoling with the Ondo State governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu and the Olowo of Owo, Oba Gbadegesin Ajibade Ogunoye, the Aareonakakanfo, however, urged the governor not to relent in his efforts to secure the state, saying Ondo state will not succumb to the will of criminals that are ready to truncate the peace of the state.
However, Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has promised to use all power within his reach to bring the perpetrators of the gory attack to book.
Governor Akeredolu in a signed statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Richard Olatunde, said The vile and satanic attack is a calculated assault on the peace-loving people of Owo Kingdom who have enjoyed relative peace over the years.
“It is a black Sunday in Owo. Our hearts are heavy. Our peace and tranquility have been attacked by the enemies of the people. This is a personal loss, an attack on our dear state.
“I have spoken to the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ondo, Most Reverend Jude Arogundade, who is presently on his way to Owo. Similarly, I have had to cut short my party’s national assignment in Abuja and visit Owo immediately.
“This is an unexpected development. I am shocked to say the least. Nevertheless, We shall commit every available resource to hunt down these assailants and make them pay. We shall never bow to the machinations of heartless elements in our resolves to rid our state of criminals.
“I commiserate with my people in Owo, particularly families of the those who lost their lives to this ugly and unfortunate attack. I extend my condolences to Olowo of Owo, Oba Gbadegesin Ogunoye as well as the Catholic Church.
“I urge our people to remain calm and vigilant. Do not take laws into your hands. I have spoken to the heads of the security agencies. I have equally been assured that security operatives would be deployed to monitor and restore normalcy to Owo kingdom.” Akeredolu said.