One of the most prominent monarchs in Yorubaland, Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi has condemned Sunday’s attack on a church by gunmen in Owo, Ondo state.
On Sunday, St Francis Catholic Church in Owo was attacked by gunmen while the congregants were celebrating Mass.
Many — including women and children — were killed in the attack.
In a statement, Ooni described the incident as a gruesome massacre targeted at turning Yorubaland into a war zone. The monarch, however, added that Southwest people have the capacity to defend themselves.
”What occurred yesterday was a gruesome massacre dastardly targeted at turning Yorubaland into a war zone. However, we the descendants of Oduduwa although peace-loving, cannot be overrun in our own homes; do not be mistaken, we have the capacity and are prepared and ready to defend ourselves against all external invaders,” the monarch said.
“We should all be reminded that yesterday made it exactly one year when an invading gang of killer herdsmen killed at least over 20 people in Igangan, Ibarapa North local government (area) of Oyo State on a Saturday night, leaving several houses, the palace of the Asiganga burnt in the attack, whilst people were asleep. Exactly a year ago!
“When calamities like this befall us without a single trace, the interpretation is that the intelligence unit of our country’s security architecture is probably faulty or completely missing.
“I implore the six governors across the south-west region and their brothers nationwide as well as the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government, to live up to their oaths of securing Nigerians and ensuring safety for all citizens irrespective of their age, sex, religion or tribe.
“Rather than discouraging us, this will rather strengthen us, especially in our resolve to deploy manpower, resources and technology towards the protection of lives and properties. I’m consulting with traditional rulers across the southwest alongside the governors across the southwest to come up with concrete plans to safeguard our people.
“We have deep obligations to them in the face of inadequate state security challenges that are threatening the fabric of our existence.
“To my brother the Olowo of Owo, Oba Ajibade Gbadegesin Ogunoye III, and the entire Owo kingdom, to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, to the Ondo State Government, to the people of Owo, to the Priest and parishioners of St. Francis Catholic Church, Owa-luwa, Owo, to the families of all the victims, and the entire people of Ondo State, it is my prayer that Olodumare will comfort you all and give you peace in these trying time.”