Abiodun SIMEON


The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has condemned the gruesome murder of parishioners at the St Francis Catholic Church in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State, on Sunday.

Osinbajo on Monday, in an emotion laden voice, said “this barbaric act is one that has to be condemned by all. But more importantly, we must find the perpetrators and they must be punished, and we must set an example”.

According to a statement titled: ‘Owo killings an unspeakable evil, perpetrators will face full wrath of the law, says Osinbajo’, signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, the Vice President described the incident as a terrible tragedy and unspeakable evil by depraved minds and terrorists.

He noted that “the President has already ordered a full-scale investigation of this crime. Without any doubt, those who perpetrated this will be fished out and they will pay for the consequences of this crime.”

Recall that almost 50 worshippers, including children, were shot dead by suspected terrorists who opened fire during the weekly Sunday Service at the Church.

Noting the President’s statement condemning the dastardly act, the vice president added, “this barbaric act is one that has to be condemned by all. But more importantly, we must find the perpetrators and they must be punished, and we must set an example.

“Anyone who will go into a place where there are children, elderly people and shoot them, throw explosives at them, cannot be dignified by their description as humans.”

Expressing condolences to the traditional ruler, the entire community and people of the state, the vice president said the Federal Government, through the security agencies, will ensure that the perpetrators are found and justice is done.

“This is the pledge that the Federal Government has made through the security agencies, that the perpetrators are found, and that we are able to discover exactly what it is that led to this situation in Owo, which, as you said, is a peaceful community that is not known for excessive behaviour. We need to investigate this thoroughly and find out exactly the situation,” he stated.

Osinbajo emphasized that “You can be sure of the Federal Government’s resolve to ensure that we don’t just support the efforts of the state government in every way we can, but to ensure that this act of terrorism is punished. But also, more importantly, to ensure that going forward, we are able to protect the citizens of this state, and the citizens of all states around Nigeria.”

The vice president commended the courage and resoluteness of the priest and the church’s congregation in handling the situation, despite the gravity and loss of their loved ones.

Osinbajo also visited those who were injured at St. Louis Catholic Hospital in the town. He also visited the palace of the Olowo of Owo, Oba Ajibade Ogunoye III in the company of Governor Akeredolu where he said his visit was on behalf of the President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), who sent his condolences.

Dispelling notions that the vice president’s convoy was involved in an auto crash, Laolu noted that the video footage circulated online was from an accident scene where he had stopped to lend help on his way to the airport en-route to Ondo State.

“He then stopped at that point to lend assistance to the victim, and the convoy’s security and medical teams assisted in removing the victim from the crash, as the car had somersaulted and got stuck on a tree.

“Prof. Osinbajo ensured that the injured was then transported to the Airforce Base Hospital before he proceeded on his journey to Ondo State,” the statement read.

The vice president had since returned to Abuja on Monday afternoon.

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