Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has described the gruesome murder of parishioners at the St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State southwest Nigeria, on Sunday, June 5, as an unspeakable evil.
The vice president said the perpetrators would be fished out and made to face the full wrath of the law.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Monday, June 6, in Abuja the nation’s capital, said the Vice President visited Owo town and the Catholic Church to commiserate with the clergy, community and people of the state over the incident.
The Vice President also visited those who were injured at St. Louis Catholic Hospital in the town.
Osinbajo said the incident was terrible tragedy and unspeakable evil by depraved minds and terrorists.
“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.”
The Vice President was received in Akure the Ondo State capital by the Deputy Governor of the State Lucky Aiyedatiwa and was later joined by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in Owo.
During his visit to the palace of the Olowo of Owo, Oba Ajibade Ogunoye III, in the company of Akeredolu; Osinbajo told the traditional ruler that his visit was on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, who sent his condolences.
“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, throw explosives at them, cannot be dignified by their description as humans.”
He expressed his condolences to the traditional ruler, the entire community and the people of the state.
The vice president said the Federal Government, through the security agencies, would ensure that the perpetrators were found and justice was 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.
“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 said that the words they spoke showed that they were the ones who truly represented the people.
He acknowledged Akeredolu’s efforts in tackling security issues in the state and his exemplary work.
“I will ensure that I take this message back to the President and that you are supported in every way to ensure the security and welfare of the people of Ondo State.”
Osinbajo also addressed youths in Owo outside of the palace.
He urged them not to take matters into their own hands, but to allow the rule of law and justice to take its course.
“I can understand how you feel because that is how all reasonable people all over Nigeria feel. It’s a very terrible thing indeed.
“It should never be allowed to happen, and I understand how you feel about so many other things.
“Many have lost their relatives and families; we are still going to the hospital to see those who are injured, many of them are very badly injured from the account I have heard.
“As young people, we must understand that despite the security challenges, when there is trouble, we are the ones who must come together, not to fight, but to say our country can be better than this; it is possible for our country to be better.
“The solutions lie, not just in government, but in all of us, especially young people; and I believe very strongly in Nigeria’s young people.
“We will eventually solve all of these challenges, and all of us will be involved,” he said.
The Vice President reiterated the Federal Government’s resolve not only to find those who committed this grievous crime but also to resolve security challenges across the country.