Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja
The minority caucus of the House of Representatives has condemned “in strong terms” the recent killing of a Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Paul Offu, in Awgu, Enugu State, by gunmen.
The caucus while noting that the primary purpose of government is the security of the lives and property of citizens, charged the federal government with curtailing the high spate of insecurity in the country.
According to the opposition lawmakers, the rising cases of killings, banditry, kidnappings, among others, will receive “full legislative attention” when the National Assembly resumes from the ongoing two-month annual recess in September.
In a statement signed by the Minority Leader, Mr. Ndudi Elumelu, and issued to journalists in Abuja on Monday, the caucus sympathised with the government and people of Enugu State as well as the Catholic Church over the “mindless killing” of Offu.
The statement partly read, “We are worried about the rising spate of insecurity across the country. This grievous incident, as well as other incidents of violent crimes like banditry, kidnapping, terrorism, and armed robbery, will certainly receive full legislative attention upon the resumption of plenary.
“In the meantime, however, we commend the Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, for the premium placed on security of lives and property, the reason Enugu has been consistently ranked as one of the most secure and peaceful states of the Federation.
“We particularly commend his administration’s response to the recent killing by working with the security agencies with a view to bringing the criminals to book and by also putting additional security measures in place to boost security of lives and property.
“The caucus calls on the federal government to rise to its primary constitutional responsibility, being the promotion of the welfare of
citizens and protection of their lives and property. More so, since all the instruments of security, including all the security agencies, are vested in the federal government.”
The House minority caucus expressed its readiness to continue to initiate legislative interventions and lend support to all efforts by the government to secure the lives and property of Nigerians.
The opposition lawmakers prayed God to console the government and people of Enugu State over the loss and grant the soul of the late priest a peaceful repose.