.Owo Church Attack: 'They shot choirmaster in my front', survivor narrates as she marks birthday

•Tells CAN it’s time to act

By Chidi Nkwopara & Chimaobi Nwaiwu, NNEWI

THE Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, yesterday, declared as unacceptable, the attack by terrorists of St Francis Catholic Church Owo, Ondo State, describing it as sacrilegious and act that the present government will pretend to condemn.

IPOB also advised Christians to stop depending on the Federal Government of Nigeria for the security of lives and property, but should take their destiny in their hands, saying that the current regime in Nigeria has only one interest, which it said is defending and protecting the Fulani interest.

A statement by IPOB’ Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, entitled, “Fulani terrorists attack on Christians in Nigeria unacceptable” warned that unless Christians take drastic measures against incessant attacks against their faithful, the attackers will not stop.

The pro-Biafra group said it is becoming an unacceptable affront and its consequences will be devastating for the Christians to be at the receiving end over Fulani’s attacks, while the Federal Government pay lip service towards condemning it.

IPOB lashed the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, for being vocal to accusing IPOB of offences it did not commit while becoming dumb and powerless where it should be vocal and show  strength, urging it to seek the help of the pro-Biafra groups to protect its members during church worships.

IPOB statement read: “We, the global movement and family of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, under the command and leadership of our great leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, condemn the terrorists attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ogun State on Sunday 5th of June 2022.”

“IPOB had repeatedly suggested that Christians should stop their dependence on government of Nigeria for security of life and properties.Our reason for this stance is that the current regime has only one interest and that is Fulani interest. They will pretend that they are condemning the attacks of Christians but in the real sense, they are in support of the attackers.

“This action of Nigerian federal government has emboldened terrorists masquerading as herdsmen in collaboration with security agents and some disgruntled politicians, to carry out killings in the southern part of Nigeria without being punished.

“They are the ones who are responsible for the recruitment of terrorists who are massacring innocent Christians, Muslims and Non-Muslims in Nigeria in recent times.

“We are equally advising the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, to stop at just condemning attacks from these terrorists from Sahel or praying for God’s intervention but should start acting in defence of Christians in Nigeria. They should not only be vocal and powerful when accusing IPOB of offences it did not commit, but dumb and powerless where it should be vocal and powerful.

“Mere condemnation of such deadly attacks does not raise people from graves and we therefore suggest again to Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, that the only remedy is to be prepared to withstand the terrorists and jihadists who are being sponsored by unfortunate politicians and government of Nigeria to eliminate every citizen in the country. They should seek the assistance of pro-Biafra groups to protect its members during church worships.”

More reactions

Also reacting, an Owerri-based legal practitioner, Mr. Eze Eluchie, hinged the insecurity in the land on what he called “the complacency and inaction of Nigeria’s military and security forces.”

Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, leader in Orlu senatorial zone,  Ben Uche Odunze said that the dastardly act “can only be done by evil fellows”.

“The complacency and inaction of Nigeria’s military and security forces against these bandits can only serve to embolden the rascals to try something far, far bigger.

“By now, one would have expected that  all the suspected hideouts of these criminal bandits, herdsmen militia and extremist Islamist jihadists and fundamentalist groups, should have been under sustained bombardments from the military, to disorient, disorganize and flush them out.”

Eluchie also lamented that: “All we get from government as their response  are meaningless condolence statements and pedestrian postmortem visits to the scene of crime.”

In his own reaction,  Odunze said: “An attack which left over 50 people dead and dozen others injured is dastardly and condemnable.

“The unprovoked attack can only be done by evil fellows and we cannot cease to wonder what could have motivated the attackers to target a place of worship.”

While appealing to the security agencies to “fish out the perpetrators of  the heinous crime and bring them to book”,  Odunze also used the opportunity to sympathize with the survivors, families of the dead, Owo people and the Catholic Church.

He prayed for the peaceful repose of the souls of the dead and the quick recovery of the wounded.

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