Connect with us


Owo Catholic Church massacre, sour taste, one year after



Spread the love

The massacre of worshipers one year ago at the St Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State, towards the end of the morning mass, has continued to leave serious sour taste in the life of many. This is more so as the Ondo State Government, after claiming to have arrested some of the perpetrators, is yet to prosecute anyone in the court of law.

After the violent invasion of the Church, government report indicated that 40 persons were killed while many others were injured. Many of the injured victims could not recover and subsequently degenerated into physically challenged persons.

St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, after the spilling of blood on the alter on June 5, 2022, reopened for service on April 9, 2023, with justice being done by the government.

The Nigerian military had disclosed that some persons suspected to be linked to the massacre during the Pentecost Sunday at the Owo Catholic Church had been arrested.

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, had in a media interaction revealed the arrest of four suspects. The military, two days later said that two more persons had been arrested in relation to the Owo massacre and were detained.

The Chief of Defence Staff had disclosed that initial arrests were made on August 1 during a joint military/Directorate of State Service (DSS) operation in Eika, Okehi Local Government Area, Kogi State.

General Irabor had said that a high-ranking member of the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), was among the arrested suspects. He noted that the ISWAP leader was “planning more deadly attacks and had perfected those plans with his accomplices before he was captured.”

The head of the Nigerian Defense Ministry Press Office, Major General Jimmy Akpor, had in a statement August 9, disclosed that the military arrested two more suspects in Omialafara, Ose Local Government Area, Ondo State.

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, had also said that one man was arrested to accommodating the suspects before they carried out the onslaught on the church.After the various arrests, none of the suspects have been arrested, one year after.

Speaking to National Daily, Engr. Martin Onovo, presidential candidate of the National Conscience Party (NCP) in 2015, noted that the Owo Catholic Church attack was on June 5, 2022, one year this day. Onovo noted that the Amotekun corps claimed that they chased and arrested some of the terrorists. He added that the Chief of Defence Staff also claimed that the security forces in a joint operation arrested some suspects.
According to Onovo, “at that time, he claimed that they could not parade the suspects because investigations were still ongoing.

“However, a controversy broke out over the claims of the Chief of Defence Staff, General Irabor. Some citizens questioned how a criminal in custody at Kuje prisons at the time of the attack could be a suspect in the attack. Onovo noted certain key issues, which include that the Amotekun claimed to have arrested some of the terrorists; the Chief of Defence Staff claimed that security forces arrested some of the suspects; the inability of the security forces to parade the suspects; the claims by the Chief of Defence Staff that investigations will continue; and the controversy over the suspect who was in custody at Kuje prison during the attack.”

Onovo maintained that there are a few possibilities from the facts as presented. According to the former presidential candidate, “first, is that the investigations failed to conclude that the suspects were responsible.

“Second is that the security forces quickly arrested the wrong suspects to boost their failing image.

“Third, is that the ruling party, being the direct sponsor of terrorism in the country, has interfered to frustrate the prosecution of the suspects.”

Onovo maintained: “we can recall the declaration of lieutenant General T. Y. Danjuma that, ‘The armed forces are not neutral. They are colluding with the armed bandits that are killing citizens’.

“We can also recall the conclusion of Barrister Malcom Omhirobo that, ‘The Buhari government was a terrorist government’.

“Therefore, it may be absurd to expect the Buhari regime to fight terrorism effectively.”

Meanwhile, it cannot be ascertained why the Ondo State government failed to embark on the prosecution of the arrested persons suspected to be linked to the Owo Catholic Church massacre, one year after.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.