Yunus Akeera,

by Dayo Johnson, Akure

The Nigeria Police has said that it’s still in shock over the terrorist attack at the St Francis Catholic Church, in Owo area, Ondo state.

No fewer than 50 worshippers were gruesomely murdered while over 100 were seriously injured during the attack.

Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), in charge of Zone 17, comprising Ondo and Ekiti Commands, Yunus Akeera, said this when he visited the palace of Olowo of Owo, Oba Ajibade Ogunye, and the attacked church.

Akeera declared that the killers of worshippers have no value for human lives.

“We are wondering what would have led these evil people to perpetrate this kind of thing to disturb Owo kingdom.

“Up till now, we are yet to get out of the shock because what is pondering in my mind and in my heart is what must have pushed these people to come this far because Owo as a kingdom is noted for its education and peaceful co-existence.

“The Inspector-General of Police and his team are not happy about it. There is nobody who is law-abiding that will be happy to see that innocent lives were killed just like that. The God that created all of us, place a sacred value on our lives.

“As a Muslim, the belief is that if you kill one life, it is as if you have killed humanity. Equally, it is in the bible. I don’t know which kind of religion these people are practising for them not to have value for human lives.

“I’m reassuring that as police, we will work ourselves tirelessly to ensure that we get to the bottom of this issue. We will be very proactive and pragmatic about it so that this thing will not happen again.”

Akeera, therefore, apologised to the people of the town and State at large over the June 5 terror attack.

He said that the police will henceforth engage the community in order to prevent reoccurrence.

“Issues like this have never happened and people are wondering, why Owo? We must say we are sorry for what has happened.

“But as law officers, we are going to put our ears to the ground and we will leave no stone unturned to make sure those who are behind this wicked act will be apprehended and faced the law. This I must assure you.

“We have come to the scene of the crime and from all indications the place is situated in the heart of town and any rational person will be wondering what could happen and our focus should be how to go about round up those behind this incident so that they will be prosecuted.

“Furthermore, all the security architecture will be placed here so that such incidents will not repeat itself anymore and other areas in the state.

“The focus is to give robust policing. We are going to engage with the community and we employed them to give us useful information and all hands must be on deck because security is everybody’s business.”

Akeera who commended Governor Rotimi Akeredolu for the Executive Order signed to compel public and private institutions in the state to install Close Circuit Television (CCTV) on their facilities, said that the move will enormously enhance the fight against crime by security agencies.

“The governor’s pronouncement is a welcome development. All over the world, that is the best practice. If every public places have CCTV installed in their environment, it will checkmate a lot of things.

“It will give adequate capturing of who and who goes in or goes out. It will also ease investigation.

“It is a positive development, I think the governor has done what is needed so that the entire state can move forward. I commend the governor for the progressive and proactive pronouncement.

Responding, Oba Ogunoye lamented that police in Owo lacked operational vehicles as well as adequate personnel.

Oba Ogunoye said “One could not fathom the reason why those people could go to that extent. They are not Muslims and they are not Christians. As I often say, they are not human beings and they don’t worth human existence.

“I know that very soon, the full wrath of the law will be against them. I know that Nigeria Police is very professional and when they set out to do an assignment, the results will be so certain.

“The Nigeria Police have not only performed here, even when they are on international assignment. As you set out your aims and objective will be achieved.

“The major challenges facing police operations in Owo is lack of vehicles and personnel.

The traditional ruler said that ” They don’t have vehicles to mobilise to crime scene and for quick movement. Also, the number of personnel here is inadequate considering the fact that Owo is a big city.”

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