Richard Ginika Izuora
Following the vicious massacre of scores of worshippers at the St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo in Ondo state during a church service on 5th of June, 2022, by yet- to-be identified gunmen, a leading Advocate of Good Governance and anti-corruption Civil Society Organisation – HEDA Resource Center, has condemned the massacre, describing it as hellish and a sign of failure on the parts of governments across board.
A statement signed by its Chairman- Olanrewaju Suraju, the group expressed fury at Federal government of Nigeria as well as some State governments who have jettisoned their primary assignment of “Safeguarding Life and Property” as enshrined in section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution which provides Inter Alia: “The Security And Welfare Of The People Shall Be The Primary Purpose Of Government,”
The HEDA’s Chairman who lamented over the the killings of innocent worshippers in cold blood during a religious event said the ugly incident was a sad reminder of the realities to the governments of Nigeria’s failure to ensure the security and welfare of all Nigerians as mandated by the Nigerian Constitution.
“We condole with the people of Ondo state, in particular, residents of the affected community in Owo, and the Catholic Church at large. The South-West of Nigeria till this despicable carnage had relatively been spared the intolerable level of insecurity pervading other regions of the country.
“This brazen attempt to unsettle the relative peace of the region should therefore be greeted with strong resistance by both the Federal and States Governments of the South-West region, to forestall further deterioration of security in the region.
“We note with displeasure the body language of the political class, especially the President, who within hours of the attack, feted his party leadership to a pre-primary dinner party at the Presidential Villa.
Suraju continued, “The dinner party which was attended by the Vice President, the Senate President, the leadership of the ruling APC and other presidential aspirants of the party was a sheer display of insensitivity and further underscored the notion that Nigerian lives are cheap and the unfortunate event did not warrant sobriety and attention,”
The permanent enemy of bad governance and unapologetic anti-corruption crusader added that HEDA was appalled by the continued upsurge in mass atrocities across the country in recent times. Noting that the continued acts of terrorism is an affront on the territorial integrity of the Nigerian state and a threat to its national security, and must therefore not be allowed to fester further.
He called on the Nigerian government to fulfil its constitutional responsibility of protecting the security and welfare of all citizens through the implementation of a more robust approach to curbing terrorism across the country.
“The governments must take conscious and deliberate actions in addressing the immediate and remote circumstances that are exacerbating terrorism and other forms of mass atrocities across the country.
“We call upon all Nigerians to remain vigilant and rise to our call to collectively resist this abnormal situation that is becoming a norm in Nigeria and demand accountability from governments knowing that no one is safe till everyone is safe,” he affirmed.