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Oodua Union condemns Owo attack, seeks arrest of perpetrators

By Seye Olumide, Rotimi Agboluaje (Ibadan), Gbenga Akinfenwa and Tomiwa Ogunniyi (Lagos)
08 June 2022   |   4:05 am
The Africa chapter of the Oodua Progressives Union (OPU), yesterday, condemned the attack on worshippers of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State, describing the incident as one death too many.

• Says blood of innocent worshippers seeks justice
• Asks Yoruba to rise in defence of region
• Onitiri, C & S urge FG to avert religious crisis, declare days of national mourning
• Yoruba Diaspora group harps on regionalism as panacea for Nigeria’s challenges

The Africa chapter of the Oodua Progressives Union (OPU), yesterday, condemned the attack on worshippers of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State, describing the incident as one death too many.

In a statement made available to journalists in Ibadan by Secretary-General of OPU African Union, Mr. Kayode Orenisi, the Yoruba Diaspora socio-cultural organisation charged the federal and Ondo State governments to fish out the killers of over 75 worshippers of the church.

The OPU frowned on the spate of the killings, saying the blood of those killed in the massacre is seeking justice and that the death of the innocent worshippers should not be politicised.

The group said: “The attack on innocent Christian worshippers in a predominantly Yoruba state and community is not just an isolated attack on some random Christians, but part of a dedicated, specific, well-thought out strategy to provoke the Yoruba Nation.

“It is by its very nature, a declaration of war that the Oodua Progressive Union in particular and the Yoruba nation at large cannot take lying down.

“We members of the OPU African Union urge the Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), to leave no stone unturned in flushing out these perpetrators and their entire chain of command and foot-soldiers from Ondo State and its environs.

“The capacity of all Yoruba sons and daughters to defend ourselves against killing of this nature cannot be taken for granted. We have the strength, and the wherewithal to protect ourselves against external forces.

“We urge that a state of emergency be effected immediately until these thorns on the side of the Yoruba people are pulled out. The safety and well-being of the people of Ondo has to come first.

MEANWHILE, a renowned socio-political activist and critic, Chief Adesunbo Onitiri, has urged the Federal Government to declare one day national mourning in honour of those who died or got wounded in the bloodbath.

Onitiri, who described the Owo massacre as satanic and devilish, said: “The bloodbath is very barbaric and condemnable. The dastardly act should be condemned by all God-fearing and patriotic Nigerians. The day they chose to attack Christians was Pentecost Day, which was very important in Christendom when Jesus Christ disciples received the Holy Spirit,” he said.

He warned that any attempt to ignite a religious war in the South would never succeed.

Onitiri, therefore, urged the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on the country’s security.

ALSO, Cherubim and Seraphim Unification Church of Nigeria has condemned the attack on the Owo worshippers.

In a statement, yesterday, the Supreme Head of the C & S Worldwide, Dr. Solomon Adegboyega Alao, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to declare seven days national mourning for the departed souls, saying that the attack was seemingly predetermined to scare Christians away from churches and decimate Christian faithful in Nigeria.

He said the attack, which took place on the day Christians all over the world were commemorating Pentecost Day and few weeks after the kidnap of the Prelate of Methodist Church Nigeria, Samuel Kanu-Uche, was to provoke Christians and begin faith war in the country.

The clergyman said the Federal Government remains accomplice until the gunmen, who committed the heinous crime, are arrested and prosecuted.

RELATEDLY, a foremost Yoruba Diaspora organisation, Yoruba One Voice (YOV), has said the only solution to the myriad of problems confronting Nigeria is to return to regional system of government.

Global Convener of the group, Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams, who spoke after the group’s yearly conference held via zoom yesterday where it deliberated on the Owo carnage, said Nigeria can only survive its current insecurity challenges if it embraces the yearnings of other ethnic nationalities, or review the existing 1999 Constitution to regional one.

The group, in a communique after the meeting, maintained that the situation in the country depends on the will of the people to put their destiny in their own hands.

It insisted that the apex Yoruba Diaspora group would not fall for the bumpy traps of detractors in its determination to seek liberation of South-West region.

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