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General News of Thursday, 16 June 2022


Senate tasks security agencies on intelligence sharing, mourns Owo victims

The senate The senate

The Senate, yesterday, urged security agencies in the country to be discreet in collaborating on intelligence gathering and sharing to prevent future attacks by bandits and insurgents.

It, therefore, condemned the recent attack on St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, and mourned the killing of worshippers.

This is as women groups under the aegis of Womanifesto, yesterday, protested against the June 5 terrorists attack on St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo.

Considering a motion on the “Owo killings” sponsored by Senator Ajayi Boroffice (Ondo North), these formed part of the resolutions of the red chamber.

Boroffice, in his presentation, noted with deep concern the attack on worshippers on Sunday, 5th June, 2022, at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State.

According to him, the attack led to the killing of 40 worshipers, with about 80 others suffering varied degrees of fatal injuries, stating that, “the attackers deployed dynamite and heinously massacres aged persons, women and children.”

The lawmaker, while noting the killings of Nigerians across different parts of the country, warned that such massacre could be a trigger to inter-religious conflicts and ethnic war in Nigeria.

Senator Nicholas Tofowomo (PDP, Ondo South), while contributing, said, “our internal security is still very defective. We need to put our resources together and improve the Nigeria Police, so that what happened in Owo, should not happen in other places.”

On his part, Senator Istifanus Gyang (PDP, Plateau North), blamed the attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owo, on religious extremism and urged religious leaders in the country to desist from inciting their followers through religious messages preached in places of worship, saying, doing otherwise posed great security threat to the country.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks, said, “This is one sad event that took place, and we are all united in grief. One thing that is so imperative is for security agencies to continue to protect our citizens, and where we encounter breeches, the perpetrators must be fished out and then the law takes its full course.”

The Senate, in its resolutions, accordingly, urged Security Agencies to intensify efforts to investigate the matter with the aim of bringing perpetrators to book and as well deploy drones and helicopters to monitor forests and ungoverned areas in Nigeria, to identify illegal camps of Armed Bandits throughout the country.

The chamber urged for collaboration amongst her various security agencies on intelligence gathering and sharing in very discreet and organised form, at local government and state levels, and nationwide.

Meanwhile, the women groups, which included National Council of Women Societies, NCWS; Federation of Muslim Women Societies, FOMWAN; Red Cross; Market Women : Iyalojas, Iyalajes; Women Artisans and the Womanifesto Movement of Nigeria, among others were led by the Wife of the Ondo governor, Mrs Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu and the wife of the deputy governor, Mrs Olúwaseun Aiyedatiwa.

The group also paid a condolence and solidarity visit to the Governor of Ondo State, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN)

Co-convener of the Womanifesto, Dr Abiola Akinyode-Afolabi, described the Owo attack as yet another evidence of the blatant disregard for human life, while lamenting the incessant murder of defenseless citizens by criminal gangs, who had been marauding across the country.

Akinyode-Afolabi noted that the Owo killings was a pointer that the security architecture of the country had collapsed, adding that the president has a constitutional duty to protect Nigerians.

“Womanifesto demands in the medium term, a comprehensive restructure of Nigeria’s security architecture through a National conversation on a new efficient constitution that will replace the 1999 constitution, which is inadequate in catering to our present realities.

“We believe that the Governor of Ondo State, has a voice. And the voice is distinct. We believe he can take our words to Mr President. What we saw in Owo is evident that our security architecture in the country has collapsed. We have to do something now.”

Mrs. Akeredolu lamented that it was not the best time for mothers, stressing that women were bleeding from the bad razor put on the bond that binds women to their own.

She said: “As a peculiar breed that is delicately woven with her own beyond umbilical artery, this convergence is a poignant reminder for us that giving birth is just the beginning of a crucial, complex and lifelong role of raising and keeping a family.

“A painful and doleful gathering this is; one that I truly wish we do not have to make, but which we are constrained to do because the carnage of Sunday June 5, 2022, at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owaluwa street, Owo, put a bad razor on the bond that binds us to our own, hence we bleed.

“In mourning, we have chosen this way to express our grief, to say our sense of huge personal loss, and to demand that the beasts, who frittered away the vast labour of mothers by slaughtering and maiming our own be made to answer for this heinous act.

“We have also taken this route to identify with our sisters, who lost children and husbands to this horrendous carnage, our men, who suffer unspeakable loss, and of course, to stand by our own governor Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN, who, through this testy period has displayed great concern, compassion and courage as a leader.”

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