Reacting to the Sunday killing of over 50 parishioners at the St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State, The Catholic Laity Council of Nigeria have firmly said that the only way the souls of the victims would rest is the assurance that their killers will be arrested and dealt with accordingly.
The National President, Catholic Laity Council of Nigeria, Henry Yunkwap alongside the National President, Catholic Women Organization, CWO, Dame Mary Gonsum, and other officials of the Catholic Archdiocese of Jos, said this while addressing Journalists on Monday, in the Plateau state Capital.
Yunkwap urged the Federal Government to go beyond condemning acts of violence in the country by words only, but rather take corresponding action against criminal elements, in order not to force Citizens to taking laws into their hands in self-defense.
in his words: “…To our leaders and all those who feel they have a monopoly on violence to know that every life is sacred and nobody has the right to take it in whatever way, be it under the guise of religion, ethnic or political differences.
“The crime committed by those killed were just two; one, they were Christians, and secondly, they were in the Church on Sunday, worshiping God. As a Christian group and direct mourners of this sad incident, we do not want to only condemn this barbaric act but use this medium to let the government know that we have taken enough of this killing of our people and we now find it very difficult to chew what they have forcefully put in our mouth. The only option left is to throw it out.
“For any government who cannot provide security for her people, it is indirectly telling them to defend themselves by whatever means they can… What the victims want from the government for their souls to rest in peace is the assurance that their killers will be arrested and dealt with according to the laws of the land.”
The body Sympathized with the people of Ondo Diocese and prayed for the quick recovery to the injured.
Recall that yet-to-be-identified armed men had on Sunday, invaded the St Francis Catholic Church in Owo, and opened fire on worshipers, killing scores of people and leaving others injured.
Meanwhile, a medical officer at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), who pleaded anonymity, confirmed to journalist on Monday, that the death toll emanating from the massacre of worshipers, has risen to over 100 as some of the victims who were critically injured reportedly died while receiving treatment in different hospitals.
“I can confirm that so far, the death toll have risen to well over 100. Many of the injured victims died while receiving treatment as we ran out of blood to infuse into them,” he said.
He also added that the FMC and other hospitals were in urgent need of blood donation as the emergency units of the hospitals had run out of blood.
However, the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu who visited the scene, promised to hunt down perpetrators of such horrific act.
In his words: … “let me tell you, we have a duty to protect you. Our security agencies lost about two men. It was not an expected attack. It was sudden. How they entered and escaped is still surprising. What has happened met us unexpectedly.
“On this matter, don’t retaliate. We know what to do and you will hear it. The perpetrators will never escape. We are after them. And I can assure you we will get them. I am not boasting”. He said.
“I want to express my condolences to those who have lost their dear ones to this unnecessary gruesome murder. This is a great massacre. Our people in Ondo state we will not let down their guard. This will not happen again.” He assured.