Nigeria: Owo Attack and Many Intrigues Against Nigeria

AMIDST the myriads of challenges facing Nigeria came the shattering bombshell on Sunday May 29, 2022 at the Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Owo. Owo is an ancient town famously associated with the late Chief Adekunle Ajasin and is particularly noted for its remarkable history .

The place doubles as the platform upon which the structure of the popular Action Group was formed. It is ordinarily stamped under the traditional rulership of a popular Yoruba king called Olowo.

It is not true to say the town has always been a peaceful given that it hosts the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, an institution with a pronounced history of violent protests, riots and attacks by cultists.

Meanwhile, the Owo people are peace-loving, intelligent and accommodating. They are courageous enough to weather storms, just like they have been doing through their son, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.

Akeredolu who is considered the lion of the South-West will not think twice before communicating what his instinct reveals to him. He earned the alias “Amotekun Governor” after he engaged the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, in an exchange of words some have described as ballistic legal missiles. This was on account of the latter questioning the legality of the regional policing system initiated by the South-West governors.

The Sunday attack was not just fatal but unprecedented in the South-Western part of Nigeria. It was targeted by some obdurate and lumpen elements whose stock-in-trade has been mass destruction of lives and termination of dreams nurtured by man.

An average South-Westerner is well aware of the killings in the North; he follows them via the print and electronic media as well as the social media. He, however, sees Nigeria as a peaceful country blessed by God with enough resources, but troubled by minor challenges which shall soon be surmounted or eliminated.

This part of the country is not totally free from the terror attacks ravaging other parts of the country; in fact, it had experienced gory killings in Igangan, apart from kidnappings or abductions and the Yoruba-Fulani clash at the Iwo Road area of Ibadan.

The gory developments cited and others not mentioned triggered the emergence of a self-styled freedom called Sunday Igboho, a barely literate youth, but courageous in his anti-Fulani war.

Mr. Olayemi Adeyemi, the lawmaker representing Owo Constituency II in the House of Assembly, informed that the perpetrators of the massacre in Owo were herdsmen who came armed to the teeth. These herdsmen, according to him, are of Fulani extraction, buttressing this by adding that they went as far as sending a message to Governor Akeredolu, to express their anger over his alleged belligerence against Fulani pastoralists. So, the Owo attack is perceived as a reprisal by Fulani herdsmen. One Babajide Otitoju, while reflecting on the attack, insisted that the perpetrators are from Kogi State. This is in spite of the fact that ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in a town bordering Kogi State.

This claim also contradicts a Federal Government claim on June 9, that the Owo attack must have been perpetrated by international terror group, ISWAP. But Governor Akeredolu maintains that the attackers received training outside Nigeria. However convincing the different postulations might be, they were soon to be faulted by news report that the culprits have been arrested and their identity not tallying with earlier claims by different individuals and groups. In other words, a lot of questionable investigations had been done.

So far, all we have had are nothing but too many fictions instead of facts. The Nigerian people are still left in the dark as to the motive of the attack and who carried it out.

The Nigerian government should work on its sources of information. The investigations should be more thorough and far-reaching so that the outcome will not leave us more confused. Tagging the wrong people with an attack is tantamount to indirectly inviting them.

It is also important to take note of the statement credited to the Ooni of Ife who reportedly threatened that the Yoruba people might have to rise up and defend themselves. The Yoruba people, according to him are valiant, courageous and capable of rescuing Nigeria, most especially the South-West, from such dastardly killings.

A system faced with challenges like terrorism, banditry, should not harm itself the more by providing half-truths as information.

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