The apex Igbo Socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has described the gruesome murder of worshippers at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owa-Iuwa Street, Owo, Ondo State on Sunday as evil.
It called on the South-West Security Network, Amotekun, to buckle down and defend the people of Ondo State and indeed the people of South West.
The group advised that if they should wait for federal police and security agencies, their land would be overrun by Fulani terrorists.
Reacting to the massacre, an experience Igbo people have also been subjected to, Ohanaeze through its spokesman, Dr Alex Ogbonnia, regretted that in all the attacks since last week and previous weeks that were linked to Fulani terrorists, the relevant authorities have appeared to have no solution to nip the situation in the bud.
Ogbonnia said, “I know one woman from Ihiala Anambra State and grandchild were shot and they are already dead. I just finished speaking with their relative and you called. It has become a daily occurrence in Nigeria, the Fulani menace, and it doesn’t appear as if the relevant authorities are in any way prepared to checkmate their atrocities.
“The other day we finished with the Prelate of the Methodist Church. He narrated his experiences. My neighbour here in Enugu was kidnapped and taken to the bush by the same Fulani herdsmen and his experiences are very horrific. They have spread all over the South.
“So it is very unfortunate that this kind of thing is allowed to continue happening every day. Today we talk about Fulani herdsmen, you talk about kidnappers, unknown gunmen, you talk about bandits, so how can the country grow?
“How can we have sustainable national development with all these kinds of violence here and there? With the instability of all kinds, how can we grow?” he asked, adding that any right-thinking person would condemn the criminal activities of Fulani herdsmen in the country.
Ohanaeze, however, condemned in its entirety the mass killing of worshippers in the Catholic Church.
It said the Nigerian government must curb the problem before it gets to a point where the people will have to take up arms to defend themselves.
“We regret that this has become a daily occurrence. It is also very unfortunate that the relevant authorities have not been able to overcome this kind of atrocities.
“Just as it happened in Ondo, every other day in the South East, we have been encountering similar problems.
“Finally, we still ask the chief security officer of the nation – the presidency to buckle up (sic), rise to the occasion and also to ask Amotekun to buckle up (sic) too; because if you wait on Federal police and other federal security agencies, they cannot help us.
“In the same way, we are calling on the South-East Governors to buckle up (sic), like what Ohanaeze has been telling them about the South East Security Network (Ebube-Agu). There’s a need for us to increase security consciousness across the South East and the entire South. We cannot wait until we are subdued no, we cannot wait.
“There is this saying that somebody surrounded by the enemy is always vigilant – it is another way of telling the South East, South-South that they have to improve on their security consciousness because security as they say is a collective responsibility. That responsibility is a product of consciousness.”