Akeredolu weeps at funeral of Owo terrorist attack victims’ mass burial

By Friday Omosola,

Tears flowed freely on Friday at the funeral mass for victims of the June 5th, 2022, terror attack at Saint Francis Catholic Church, Owaluwa in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State. G o v e r n o r Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, who was with his wife, Betty, wept during his speech at the Mydas Resort and Hotel, Owo venue, lamenting: “We have failed to defend these people.

Not because we have not tried. But because these forces on the other side are evil and they have support. They will not triumph over us forever.

“When I see the sea of heads that are here it speaks volumes. What has happened to us in Owo in Ondo State was indescribable. A lot of words were used to qualify it. Dastardly, horrendous.

But I still believe there are words to use to describe it but I am still short of those words. “We have just 22 (deceased) in this hall. A few of them have been buried. Because the relatives couldn’t wait till today. But as at the last count, these animals came to the church and murdered 40 people.”

Akeredolu added that the security architecture of the country needs rejiging. Bishop of Ondo Catholic Diocese, Dr. Jude Arogundade, declared that the governor had not failed in protecting his people but a strong soldier with determination to protect those who voted him into power.

A r o g u n d a d e wondered why the people of the country needed to beg for state police, despite the endless attacks and killings. He thanked the governor for accepting to designate a memorial park in honour of the victims, noting that those who carried out the attack have blood on their hands.

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Muhammed Shehu Usman and Lawal Mazaje, were similarly accused of assassinating a hunter in the forest. However, the court discharged the fourth suspect, Auwalu Abubakar, arraigned for aiding and abetting. In his verdict, Justice Williams Rotimi Olamide convicted the three suspects to death on charges bothering on conspiracy to kill, murder, kidnapping, and armed robbery.

The judge commiserated with the victim’s family and advised the government to find a lasting solution to the thriving insecurity in the country. On July 12, 2019, the 58-year-old Olakurin, who was heading to Akure, Ondo State, from Lagos, was attacked and shot by the armed herdsmen on the BeninSagamu Expressway.

After months, the killers were arrested on April 6, 2020, following tracking and investigation by men of the Special AntiRobbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force.

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