Nigeria: Six Months After Owo Massacre, Bishop Prays for Justice, Prosecution of Suspects

41 persons were killed and several others injured by unknown gunmen who invaded St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State on 5 June.

The Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Felix Ajakaye, has called for the prosecution of the suspected terrorists arrested in connection with the gruesome killings in Owo, Ondo State in June.

41 persons were killed while several others were injured by unknown gunmen who invaded St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State on 5 June.

On 11 August, The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Lucky Irabor, during an interaction with some media executives disclosed that four of the attackers had been arrested.

The army boss said the suspects were arrested through a combined operation with the SSS.

He named those arrested as Idris Omeiza (a.k.a Bin Malik), Momoh Abubakar, Aliyu Itopa and Auwal Onimisi.

The defence chief said the attackers, who have links with ISWAP terrorist group, were arrested on 1 August at Eika, Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State.

Six months after the deadly event, the cleric spoke through a statement titled, ‘Nigeria still waiting… ‘

The Bishop charged President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to always be “on top of actions, not merely on top of situations.”

The statement reads in part: “Then, nationally and internationally, there were outcries, condemnations and there were promises. There were also visitations to the church premises and the victims in the different hospitals where they were receiving treatment.

“As usual, the Buhari-led government commiserated with the people concerned. Typical of the administration’s trademark, it vowed to be on top of the situation and fish out the culprits. Practically, our wish is for the government to always be on top of the action, not mere on top of the situation.

“Today, December 5, 2022, is the sixth month of the evil attack, the dead have been buried and their people and other well-wishers are still in sorrowful moods. Many of the injured are equally traumatised.”

He further stressed, “Over three months ago, General Irabor told the world that there had been arrests made concerning the attack. ‘A voice is heard in Ramah, lamenting and weeping bitterly: It is Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted because they are no more’ (Matthew 2:18). General Irabor, Nigeria is still waiting.

“More than ever, the people who have been in custody since the General’s public statement to Nigerians and the world that they had been arrested need to be prosecuted now. Not only that, General Irabor needs to give the update of the present situation on the Owo massacre.”


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