Akeredolu warns Ebiras in Ondo against venturing into kidnapping



‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Monday Reuben

The arrests of masterminds of the dastardly attack on innocent worshippers at St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo has thrown up the issue of ethnic profiling of criminals in Nigeria.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Iraboh, during a meeting with media executives in Abuja, noted that troops who were in operation pursued the suspects and recovered some exhibits from them. The military revealed the identities of some of the terrorists .

The military chief revealed that the search for more of the terrorists who are in hiding is still on. His words: “As regards the Owo incident, we have recovered the last vehicle they used for that operation and we made some arrests and we have also recovered some vital things which we are working on.

“A number of people have been arrested concerning the Owo issue as well as a number of equipment. On that day, we pursued them to the point that we recovered the vehicle and we are still pursuing them. We have told you that until we get to the root, I can assure you that the perpetrators and their sponsors will be brought to book.”

A list of the arrested terrorists by the military include: Momoh Ojo Abubakar Aliyu Yusuf Itokpka Auwal Ishaq Onimisi Idris Ojo Idris Abdulmalik Omeiza (one of the masterminds of the attack)

Recall that terrorists launched a deadly attack on the St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo, and killing scores of congregants.

The preliminary report shows that all arrested attackers hail from Kogi Central senatorial district of Kogi state as against the alleged ‘Fulani terrorists’ on many lips.

Akeredolu warns Ebiras in Ondo against venturing into kidnapping

Meanwhile, Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has confirmed the arrest of the attackers of St Francis Catholic Church, Owo.

The Governor confirmed the arrest shortly after the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor made the announcement in Abuja according to the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Richard Olatunde.

Governor Akeredolu further disclosed that the owner of the house where the attackers stayed before the June 5 attack in Owo has also been arrested

He noted that government did not spare a moment in trailing the terrorists since the horrendous attacks on innocent worshipers at the St Francis Catholic Church, Owaluwa, Owo.

Arakunrin Akeredolu spoke during a courtesy visit to his office by the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) led by the Chairman of the Council, Prince Leke Adegbite.

He said:”Now that the military has announced it, I can tell you that five of them have been arrested now. They are still on the trail of the rest. The home where they lodged in Owo and the person that accommodated them before the attack, has also been arrested.

“We did not spare a moment. I am happy that the Chief of Defence Staff has announced it. We have known for a while but we needed not to come out with it because more works are still ongoing. I can confirm that this arrest has been made. And they are still on the trail of some of them.”

Governor Akeredolu has also called on leaders of the Ebira community in the state to warn their young ones not to copy the bad venture of kidnapping.

The Governor said recent reports from victims of kidnap in the state have established that some Ebira indigenes are now involved in the unwholesome act.

He noted that the Ebiras have lived together with the people of the state peacefully for several decades, adding that they have always been supportive and hardworking.

“I want to use this medium to urge our brothers to concentrate on their farming trade. It will be unfortunate to know that the Ebiras in our midst are now involved in kidnapping.

“We are appealing to them not to copy bad thing. The traders selling by the road side should not become informants. We are not fighting them.

“We have seen their numbers, they supported and voted for us during elections. I will call their leaders and talk to them. Our brothers who were kidnapped on their way to Ikare, talk to them. They were taken to Ebira farmsteads.

“For me, we have lived together for too long for this to happen. I am ready to make any effort to ensure that the conviviality that we have enjoyed continues. But we are begging their leaders to urge them not to copy bad thing. They are in our midst , we are surrounded by them. The issue of security is key and it’s dynamic.” Governor Akeredolu noted.

On the issue of Security, Governor Akeredolu disclosed that aside the recent recruitment and training of new Amotekun personnel, 20 hunters and local vigilantes will be trained by the Amotekun corps in each of the eighteen local government areas in the state.

A security expert, James Oyedele, warned the public against ethnic profiling to avoid a repeat of the Rwanda genocide in Nigeria.

“The easiest thing to do where and when there is a crime or attack is to allow trained security personnels do there jobs rather than allowing gossip, emotions and narrow considerations colour the crime

“Crime has no religion or ethnicity, we have both good and bad citizens in every religion and ethnic groups.”

About 40 people were killed when the gunmen stormed the church on June 5, opened fire on the congregation, and also detonated explosives as the worshippers scampered for safety.