Owo terror attack can’t cow me into silence, says Akeredolu

By Friday Omosola, Akure

  • S’West govs declare three-day mourning for victims

Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has reiterated that he would not be silenced by acts of terrorism that led to the slaying of children, women and unarmed worshippers at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo recently.

Akeredolu disclosed this at a special interdenominational prayer service organised by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Owo Chapter, held at the premises of the St. Francis Catholic Church where 40 worshippers were killed by terrorists.

Akeredolu stressed that the dastardly act committed in Owo was targeted to create fears into the mind of the people, adding that South-West and the state in particular, could not be conquered by the enemies of the people under any guise. The Chairman South-West Governors’ Forum, also visited the Federal Medical Center and St. Louis Hospital, both in Owo to check on the survivors of the attack on admission.

He assured that efforts would be geared towards strengthening the security in the state and across the South-West. Akeredolu equally encouraged all places of worship to install CCTV cameras and engage local security men to further provide security in their premises.

In his sermon, Bishop Fagbemi, lauded the Governor for providing leadership, saying since the sad incident happened the Governor’s continuous responses and actions had been unique and commendable. He also lauded him for his efforts in providing security for the protection of lives and property of the people of the state through the establishment of the Amotekun Corps.

The Bishop expressed shock over the Owo attack, saying the church of God should be a place of safety. He, however, urged Christians not to entertain any fear, saying God would continue to be with them and give them victory.

According to him, despite the fact that some people have allowed themselves to be used by the devil, Jesus is still alive and would continue to protect and be with His people. Bishop Fagbemi prayed to God to expose the killers of the worshippers and their sponsors.

Also at the event were intercessory prayers for the victims of the attack, Owo town and the state at large.

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Meanwhile, governors from the South-West States have declared three days of mourning in memory of the victims.

The mourning announced at a meeting held virtually on weekend to deliberate on the rising wave of insecurity in the country and South-West, would commence from Monday, 13th of June to Wednesday 15th of June, 2022.

The governors in a jointly signed statement directed flags in the South-West states to fly at half-mast across all public buildings, facilities and official residences. They condemned the horrendous crime perpetrated by terrorists against the residents of Owo, the peace-loving people of the South-West, as well as sympathised with the victims of the attack.

The statement read: “The governors noted, with a great discomfiture, the increasing agitations about spaces taken over by unidentified and unknown migrants in all South-West states. The meeting, therefore, recommends an increase in the scope of surveillance of the activities of these undocumented settlers by relevant security agencies in all the states.

“The governors reviewed reports from various states on the factors militating against peace and security in the region. They expressed grave concern about the influx of Okada riders into all parts of the South West, especially the states capitals. The meeting further resolved that efforts be geared toward identity management of Okada riders and stringent regulations put in place for their operation.

More so, they resolved to continue assisting the security agencies in the areas of crisis management and intelligence gathering at all times. They also disclosed that it was time to reconvene the South-West Security Committee to look critically into the creeping menace before it blossoms into another intractable social problem, noting that the committee would submit its findings on the desirability of Okada operations in the region.

According to them, the committee is expected to also submit a multi-level template to combat the threat of insurgency and terrorism in the region. The forum further agreed to convene forthwith a physical meeting of the South-West Governors to deliberate on the security challenges confronting the region.

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