Ohanaeze Ndigbo Condemns Owo Church Attack

The apex Igbo social-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has condemned the Sunday attack at St. Francis Catholic church, Owo, Ondo State, describing it as barbaric, savage and cowardly.

This was contained in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Alex Ogbonnia. The group noted that the attack had revealed the level of insecurity in Nigeria and the inability of the Federal Government to tackle the menace.

Ohanaeze said: “The massacre of innocent worshippers at the St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State by terrorists has once again exposed the level of insecurity in the country and the inability of the Federal Government to rein in these agents of darkness on Nigeria.

“The Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Prof. George Obiozor condemns, in the strongest terms, this unbridled massacre of innocent worshippers in Ondo State and demands that the security agencies should smoke out these cowardly murderers wherever they may be and bring them to justice.

“The massacre of these worshippers, whose only crime was gathering together to worship God, is barbaric, savage, cowardly, unconscionable and indeed the worst sacrilegious dastardly affront on the body of Christ.

“Ohanaeze is worried at the utter disregard for the sanctity of human life that has insidiously become the Nigerian character. More worrisome is the porosity of Nigerian borders that have become a freeway for all categories of persons into the country.

“Ohanaeze recalls that the Owo massacre is coming only one week after the abduction by suspected herdsmen of the Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, His Grace,  Samuel Uche and two other clergymen in Abia State, South-East Nigeria.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo reiterates its persistent calls for the restructuring of the security architecture as a practical strategy for checking insecurity in the country. Regrettably, today Nigerians can no longer walk or travel freely because of the level of insecurity in the land.

“We hereby urge the Governors of Southern Nigeria to come together and strengthen their local vigilante groups, especially the Amotekun and Ebubeagu, in order to the ensure safety of our people.

“It is the Ohanaeze position that a vast federation such as Nigeria requires a multi-level security network to compliment the central security apparatus. Security becomes a collective responsibility only if there is a collective security consciousness.

“The philosophy behind Ebubeagu is that every community has volunteers and representation in the local security outfit. The local terrain is better understood and navigated by the indigenous security operators, hence the need to domesticate security for effective services.

“It is believed that the ongoing attacks, banditry, kidnap, gunmen, herdsmen-farmers clashes, etc., will sound a wake-up call on our governors to rise to the occasion. There is no gain in saying that the failure of any government begins with the inability to secure its citizens and property.

“On behalf of the Igbo, Ohanaeze Ndigbo condoles with Owo community, the Leader of Afenifere, Ayo Adebanjo; Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and the entire people of Ondo State over this unprovoked gruesome massacre of innocent worshippers. We also condole with the many families of the deceased and the entire Catholic Church worldwide”.

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