Sanwo-Olu, Abiodun, AbdulRahman Donate N75m to Victims of Owo Catholic Church Attack

•Akeredolu warns against war

Fidelis David

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Dapo Abiodun of Ogun and their Kwara State counterpart, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, yesterday announced the donation of N25million each, totaling N75 million for the victims of the June 5 attack on St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Owo, in Ondo State.

The governors were in the state to pay condolence visit to governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu over the terror attack which claimed 40 lives out of the 127 involved in the incident, leaving 61 survivors currently on admission in different hospitals and 26 already discharged.

The immediate past Governor of Ogun state, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, also joined the entourage.

Ogun state Governor, Dapo Abiodun, who spoke on behalf of the Lagos and Kwara States Governors, said the attack was not just on the people of Owo and Ondo State, but the entire people of the South-west region.

He stressed that the region would soon meet to take a position to further consolidate and improve security architecture in the zone.

He said: “We have come this morning to commiserate with His Excellency and the good people of Owo and of course, Ondo State by extension. On behalf of our families and poeple and governments of Ogun, Kwara and the Lagos States on the very dastardly event that happened on the 5th of June, 2022, at the Catholic church in Owo.

“The news filtered in on the evening of the 5th and it came as a shock to all your brother governors across the length and breadth of this country, but in particular those of us that come from the South-West zone. We find this attack not just an attack on the good people of Owo, or the good people of Ondo State but the entire people of the South-west zone.

“Of course we have met and we have condemned this act which we find as most unfortunate. Your Excellency, this is an attack too many. We know that you have been at the vanguard of ensuring peace and security for your poeple. In fact, you are the champion of the Amotekun in the South-west.

“We, your brothers wonder if this is more personal because of the role you have played in ensuring that our zone is secured. One wonders if there is a particular reason this attack was launched in your hometown of Owo.

“We are deeply pained, we deeply saddened and we commiserate with you. We pray for the lives of the departed, we pray that the almighty God forgives their sins and accept their souls. We commiserate with their families, we sympathise with those that are still in the hospitals”, governor Abiodun said.

In his response, Akeredolu, thanked the governors for their solidarity while describing their visit as not just symbolic, but important. He warned that the people of the South-west would not tolerate another unprovoked attack on the region under any guise.

Akeredolu said the people of Ondo State and South-west region at large have always come to the country in peace and unity.

Akeredolu, who described the Owo attack as one too many, noted that the people of the south-west region have always maintained peace and unity of the country.

 He said: “We are part of this country and we have always come to this country in peace and we have maintained peace. We have been trying every time to maintain Nigeria because we believe in Nigeria. “Let someone point to an incident in which we left our enclave or we left this peaceful environment and went to cause problems in other places. Let them tell us. We have come to this country in peace, and now people want to visit us with war. You want to maim and kill us; it is not easy.

“It is a dreadful assault. I said to people that if we were at war and we were armed and faced ourselves, in one day 40 people would not die from our side. But this is not war, we were not at war.

“This is an assault on us, on our psyche. We cannot continue this way. We believe in this place, we believe in South-Western region, we believe in Yoruba. Is Yoruba part of the Nigeria we believe in? Yes. But I thank you for your solidarity. You have come all the time and we have always worked together, all of us”, he stressed.

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