Peter Obi has decried the attack on St Francis Catholic Church, in Owo, Ondo state as indicative of the country’s failure under President Muhammadu Buhari.
“What happened in Owo today again adds to my position that our country is fast becoming a failed state. All must now join hands in saving our country from this existential situation we find ourselves in today,” the Labour Party presidential candidate said in a statement.
“I sympathise with the victims’ families, the Catholic Diocese of Ondo, the people and the Government of Ondo State. I urge the Federal Government and Ondo State Government to do whatever is possible to ensure that perpetrators of the dastardly act are brought to book.”
Mr Obi’s statement followed a torrent of similar condemnation and condolences over the murder of several church members at St Francis Xavier Catholic Church in the ancient town.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the main Igbo socio-cultural organisation, has denounced the unjustified attack on the church calling it wicked.
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The most concerning feature of the incident, according to the organization, was that the appropriate authorities looked uninterested.
Alex Ogbonnia, a spokesman for Ohanaeze, told Newsmen that the Amotekun Corps should buckle up and protect their people rather than waiting for federal security. He added that if they wait for federal security, their territory will be overtaken by Fulani terrorists.
Ogbonnia said, “I know one woman from Ihiala Anambra State and her grandchild were shot and they are already dead. I just finished speaking with their relative and you called. It has become a daily occurrence in Nigeria, the Fulani menace, and it doesn’t appear as if the relevant authorities are in any way prepared to checkmate their atrocities.
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“The other day we finished with the Prelate of the Methodist Church. He narrated his experiences. My neighbour here in Enugu was kidnapped and taken to the bush by same Fulani herdsmen and his experiences are very horrific. They have spread all over the South.
“So it is very unfortunate that this kind of thing is allowed to continue happening every day. Today we talk about Fulani herdsmen, you talk about kidnappers, unknown gunmen, you talk about bandits, so how can the country grow?
“How can we have sustainable national development with all these kinds of violence here and there? With the instability of all kinds how can we grow?” he queried, adding that no right thinking person would not condemn the Fulani herdsmen menace in the country.
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“Ohanaeze condemns the mass killing of worshippers in a Catholic Church in Ondo state. We regret that this has become a daily occurrence. It is also very unfortunate that the relevant authorities have not been able to overcome this kind of atrocities.
“Just as it happened in Ondo, every other day in the South-East we have been encountering similar problems.
“Finally, we still ask the Chief Security Officer of the nation, the president to buckle down, rise to the occasion and also to ask Amotekun to buckle down too; because if you wait on Federal police and other federal security agencies, they cannot help us.
“In the same way, we are calling on the South-East governors to buckle down, like what Ohanaeze has been telling them about the South-East Security Network (Ebube-Agu). There’s need for us to increase security consciousness across the South-East, and the entire South. We cannot wait until we are subdued; no, we cannot wait.
“There is this saying that somebody surrounded by enemy is always vigilant – it is another way of telling the South-East, South-South that they have to improve on their security consciousness because security, as they say, is a collective responsibility. That responsibility is a product of consciousness.”
National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, have for the first time also condemned the attack on Ondo State.
Adding his voice to the slew of condemnations that have trailed the incident, the former Lagos State Governor posted a series of tweets on his Twitter page on Sunday, June 5, 2022.
Tinubu prayed that the almighty God will grant the bereaved comfort and healing while also wishing that the soul of the departed will find eternal rest.
He said, “I strongly condemn the evil and brutal attack that took place at the St Francis Catholic Church, Owaluwa, Ondo State, this morning. I pray healing and comfort for the injured and the bereaved.
“May Almighty God grant eternal rest to the departed as He gives peace to those they leave behind.
“My thoughts and prayers are with H.E. Governor Akeredolu, the government and the people of Ondo State. May God bless us all.”
Also, the UK government on via the the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, wrote: “Terrible news today from Owo in Ondo state. I condemn those responsible for this horrific crime. I extend my sympathies to all those affected.”