Six months after Owo massacre, bishop prays for justice and prosecution of suspects

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The Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Ekiti, Felix Ajakaye, has called for the prosecution of suspected terrorists arrested in connection with the gruesome killings in Owo, Ondo State in June.

41 people were killed and several more injured by unknown gunmen who invaded St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State, on 5 June.

On August 11, the Chief of the Defense Staff (CDS), Lucky Irabor, during an interaction with some media executives, revealed that four of the attackers had been arrested.

The army chief said the suspects were arrested through a combined operation with the SSS.

He named those arrested as Idris Omeiza (also known as Bin Malik), Momoh Abubakar, Aliyu Itopa and Auwal Onimisi.

The defense chief said the attackers, who have ties to the ISWAP terror group, were arrested on August 1 in Eika, Okehi local government area in Kogi state.

Six months after the deadly event, the cleric spoke in a statement titled “Nigeria is still waiting…”

The bishop charged the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to always be “aware of actions, not just situations.”

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The statement reads in part: “So, nationally and internationally, there were protests, condemnations, and there were promises. There were also visits to the church facilities and to the victims in the different hospitals where they were being treated.

“As usual, the Buhari-led government took pity on the people involved. Typical of the administration’s trademark, he vowed to stay on top of the situation and get the culprits out. Practically, our desire is that the government is always aware of the action, not just aware of the situation.

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“Today, December 5, 2022, is the sixth month of the evil attack, the dead have been buried and their people and other supporters are still sad. Many of the injured are equally traumatized.”

In addition, he emphasized: “More than three months ago, General Irabor told the world that arrests had been made in connection with the attack. ‘A voice is heard in Ramah, lamenting and weeping bitterly: It is Raquel crying for her children, and she does not want to be comforted because they no longer exist’ (Matthew 2:18). General Irabor, Nigeria is still waiting.

“More than ever, the people who have been detained since the general’s public statement to Nigerians and the world that they had been arrested must now be prosecuted. Not only that, General Irabor needs to give the update on the current situation on the Owo massacre.”

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