Terrorism

Owo Massacre: Western Nigeria Govs Declare 3-Day Mourning, Set Up Committee On Okada Operations

Ola ‘Kiya, Reporting

Governors of Western Nigeria comprising Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Lagos, Osun and Ekiti have declared three days mourning for victims of terrorists attack at the St Francis Catholic Church Owaluwa, Owo, Ondo State.

The three-day mourning period begins Monday June 13 and ends June 15 during which flags across the six states are to fly at half mast.

Stonix News reports that some terrorists on Sunday June 5, 2022, massacred no fewer than 40 worshippers including women and children in an unprovoked attack, leaving behind blood, sorrow and tears.

The massacre had drawn the attention of the international community condemning the needless killing of innocent worshippers in the very home town of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.

Arising from a virtual meeting held on June 10, five days after the bloody massacre, the six governors of Western Nigeria, raised the red flag over the unremitting influx of strange faces in certain nooks and crannies of the South West states.

In a communique signed by Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, Ogun State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos State, Gboyega Oyetola, Osun State and Engr. Seyi Makinde, Oyo State, they condemned the massacre, saying an attack on Yoruba in any of the six states is an attack on all. 

Details of the communique that emerged after reviewing the state of insecurity in the region, are below: 

“The South West Governors at a meeting held, virtually, on the 10th June, 2022, deliberated extensively on the rising wave of insecurity in the country, especially the South West and decided on some measures, deemed immediate in stemming the tide of banditry, kidnapping and terror attacks in the region.

“The recent attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owaluwa Street, Owo, compels immediate intervention in the whole of the South West to nip the insidious phenomenon of insurgency in the bud.

“The meeting, consequently, took decisions, some of which are expected to have far-reaching implications in the quest to protect lives and property in the region.

“The Governors condemn, in very strong terms, the horrendous crime perpetrated by terrorists against the people and residents of Owo, Ondo State, and, by extension, the peace-loving people of the South West. The Governors sympathise with the victims of the mindless attack in Owo.

“The Governors agreed to declare a 3-day mourning period in memory of the victims of the 5th June, 2022 terror attack on St Francis Catholic, Owaluwa Street, Owo, Ondo State, starting from Monday, 13th June, to Wednesday, 15th, June, 2022 to symbolise our collective loss across all South Western States in Nigeria.

“The meeting agreed that all the Governors should direct the flying of Flags at Half Mast in all public buildings, facilities and official residences across all the States in the South West in honour of the victims of the Owo terror attack.

“They also noted, with 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, as Chief Security Officers, resolved to continue to assist the security agencies in the areas of crisis management and intelligence gathering at ALL times.

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

“Consequently, the Forum decided it was time to reconvene the South West Security Committee to look critically into this creeping menace before it blossoms into another intractable social problem. The Committee will be expected to submit its findings on the desirability of Okada operations in the region. It is also expected to submit a multi-level template to combat the threat of insurgency and terrorism in the region.

“The Forum 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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