“We need information everywhere to assist us in apprehending these people and prevent reoccurrence of this type of incident.”
The commanders of the South West Security Network, codenamed Amotekun, have lamented the terror attack on St Francis Catholic Church in Owo, vowing to put up measures to forestall future occurrences.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how about 40 people were killed by the terrorists who attacked the church with guns and dynamite. Many others sustained varying degrees of injuries.
The corps commanders from the states of Ekiti, Osun, Oyo, Ogun, and Ondo, were in Ondo to review the attack.
The commanders include Joe Komolafe of Ekiti, Olayinka Olayanju of Oyo, David Akinremi of Ogun, B. Aderonbi of Osun, and Adetunji Adeleye of Ondo.
Mr Adeleye, who spoke on their behalf of the commanders, said they had also come to condole with the families of the dead.
“We are also here to express our condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in the attack and we pray that Almighty God grant their souls eternal rest,” Mr Adeleye said.
He also said the corps commanders were in Owo to assess the security situation and proffer solutions.
This, he said, would ensure that there was no repeat of the incident anywhere in the southwest.
“We feel very sad about this attack because these ‘animals’ invaded this ever peaceful town and massacred defenceless worshippers. it is a sad moment for us,” he said.
“To Ondo State people, we want to reassure them that the executives of all the western states are determined to continue to ensure your security of lives and property are guaranteed.
“We want you all to be rest assured that even the federal government and all the security agencies are not leaving any stone unturned in apprehending the perpetrators of this dastardly act and ensuring that we prevent a repeat of it.”
Mr Adeleye, who is also the Special Adviser to Ondo State Governoron Security Matters, appealed to residents to be vigilant, as security was the business of all and not limited to law enforcement agencies alone.
“We need information everywhere to assist us in apprehending these people and prevent reoccurrence of this type of incident”, Mr Adeleye said.
He, however, thanked governments of the region for their immense contributions and support towards ensuring that the corps responded swiftly and checkmate criminal activities.
The corps commander for Osun, Mr Aderonbi, said it was unfortunate that some criminals thought they could test the will of the people of the region and disrupt the peace enjoyed in the area.
“We want to assure them that we will do everything within our power that they are not just brought to book, but that any other person or group planning similar attack in any part of the South-west states will have us to contend with,” he said.
“So we are here on condolence visit and to show solidarity for our leader, the chairman of our group and also, to access the extent of the damage.
“From there, we should be able to sit down and do some arithmetic.
“We are here to assure him that we are here for him and we will be ever ready to support him. This is not only an attack on Ondo, it is an attack on the Yoruba race and we the Amotekun will not condole that.”
The Bishop of Ondo Catholic Diocese, Jude Arogundade, who received the corp commanders in his residence, thanked them for the visit and charged them to fish out perpetrators of the ungodly act.
He, however, urged them to work together for the peace, harmony and stability of the South-west states.
In the same vein, the Deji of Akure and Chairman, Ondo State Council of Obas, Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, who condemned the attack in strong terms, lauded the efforts of the corps in the area of crime prevention which had earned them the confidence and respect of residents.
While praying for the timely arrest of the perpetrators, he assured the corps of traditional rulers’ supports towards effective discharge of their responsibilities, so that Yoruba land may continue to enjoy peace.
Also speaking, the Olowo of Owo, Ajibade Ogunoye, commended the Amotekun commanders for effectively securing the South-west region.
“You are all trying your best to ensure that peace reigns in Yoruba land. We know you have your own challenges. If only the federal government would support and allow you carry sophisticated weapons, no crime will be difficult for you to burst,” the traditonal ruler said.
Mr Ogunoye, however, appealed to the federal government on the need to transform the Amotekun corps to state police so as to effectively combat crimes and criminality in the region.