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CAN says no explanation for Owo killings as Akeredolu alleges killers are Malians trained in Libya

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Photos: Gov. Akeredolu receiving briefing from security chiefs in Owo

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has condemned the unprovoked attacks and killing of several innocent worshippers at the St Francis Catholic Church, Owa-luwa Street, Owo and called on the security agencies to apprehend the perpetrators of the dastardly criminality.

Already, there are political spins to the Owo carnage.

CAN President, Dr. Samson Ayokunle, spoke as Ondo Governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, alleged that the Owo attackers were Malians trained in Libya, adding that two security operatives were killed in the attack.

Akeredolu, who arrived Owo kingdom from Abuja, where he had been for the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Primary, urged residents of the state to keep calm and not take the laws into their hands.

His words, “What happened here is too tragic. It is the most tragic event. What is happening in America is a child’s play to what has happened here.

“To say the least, it is condemnable. I’m grieved. Let me let you know that we have a duty to protect you.

“Security services also lost about two men. The attack was sudden. How they carried out the attack and entered the church cannot be explained.

“No one thought that such incident could happen in Ondo State not to talk of people.

“Let us not retaliate because we will apprehend them. Don’t take laws into your hands. I want to express my condolences to the families of the victims.

“Security agencies in the state must take all steps necessary because this must not repeat itself.

“On our own part, we must be vigilant. We take responsibility for what has happened.

“Most of those that are carrying out this attacks are foreigners from Mali who were trained in Libya.”

In its statement, the CAN President, Dr. Samson Ayokunle, through his spokesman, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, said it is sad, wrong, condemnable, outrageous, unacceptable and satanic.

He adds: “There is no explanation for this unprovoked attack and assault on a place of worship. This is raw persecution.

“These people are possessed, demonic and are not working for the good of the country. May God descend heavily on them and fight them mindless agents of Satan from their roots in Jesus’ name.

“We are once again reiterating our quest for a total overhauling of the security architecture and are asking President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the recycling of those criminals and terrorists in the name of de-radicalising programme. If the programme is not counterproductive, how come the criminalities are always on the increase and nowhere is safe again.

“This menace of insecurity has gotten out of hands and is embarrassingly sore. Criminals are operating with impunity all over the country and unfortunately our government appears to be so busy with the 2023 general election that it has no time for the unending killings in the country.

“What legacy is the government and those who are the managers of our security architecture leaving behind for the unborn generation? We are praying for the government and the security agencies to get it right before it will be too late.

“If the Federal government is not interested in the State Police, what efforts are being put in place to arrest this unpleasant situation? We call on the State Governors to meet with the President to find the lasting solution to these killings. Issuing mere press statements of condemnations and what looks like empty threat is apparently not a way out of it.

“CAN commiserates with all the bereaved, the Olowo of Owo, Oba Gbadegesin Ogunoye, the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) and the Ondo State Government.”

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has express its sympathies to the Owo community,
the government and people of Ondo State and the country in general following the attack that claimed the life of scores of worshippers.

In a statement personally signed by the Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi,
the forum said it considers the killing “a gory, ugly, and gruesome act by extremely wicked and warped minds meted out to innocent victims on a holy day. However, in the spirit of all our faiths, we pray for them. May God
forgive and grant them mercy.”

Fayemi said governors solemnly pledge to work with Mr President, all citizens and residents of Nigeria to assure of a fully secure environment.

“Our goal is to halt brutalities, address unresolved criminal acts and ensure all killers are ultimately brought
to face the consequences of their actions,” he added.

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