Governor points out foreign-born jihadists behind the Catholic church massacre

Lagos — The subject was Pentecost, but the message was a bullet that killed more than 40 people in the relatively calm Catholic congregation of Ondo, Nigeria.

The priest was offering a benediction at the end of the Mass to celebrate Pentecost Sunday. At least four archers have detonated a bomb and have begun to blow bullets at trapped worshipers.

The location of the horrific attack was St. Francis’ Church in the quiet town of Owo in Ondo, about 170 miles west of the capital Lagos. On June 5, unidentified armed groups killed and injured nearly 50 people.

According to witnesses, the attackers detonated an explosive in the chapel, tore the plaster from the ceiling and inflicted many serious injuries.

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu told the media on the scene that the murderer was a foreign combatant from Mali.

“Most of the people carrying out these attacks are foreigners trained in Libya,” Akeredre said, according to media reports. The governor did not elaborate on his opinion.

Kehinde Ogunkorode, a member of the congregation who visited the victims of morgues and blood donation hospitals in the state, said the Epoch Times said that “more than 40 people were killed and injured.”

Speaking anonymously, worshipers described one of the archers as “a young Fula man who pulled an AK-47 rifle out of a bag.”

“When he shot the gun, he started shooting.”

The nomadic Fula are a large ethnic group in West Africa, primarily a Islamic group, with more than 20 million members living in Nigeria. They have been accused of killing tens of thousands of people since 2001.

A member of the Church of the Redeemed Christian God, opposite the Catholic Church, saw one of the archers during the attack.

Another resident of the town, Damirora Orfemi, said he heard three loud gunshots before deciding to go to the scene of the slaughter.

“I saw blood stains on the church fence,” he told The Epoch Times, confirming the testimony of other anonymous speakers about the indiscriminate shooting behind the besieged church fence.

Several sources have confirmed to the Epoch Times that the attackers have been shooting in the church for up to 20 minutes.

According to locals, the station is only a 10-minute drive away, and police officers near headquarters did not arrive until the attackers departed.

The palace of the traditional ruler Oluwoof Owo is about 200 meters from the Catholic church.

A state police spokesman, Funmilayo Odunlami, said the Epoch Times had not been arrested, but “more updates will be made in the future.”

Church attacks ignite social media

On social media, random Twitter users whose families live on Ondo or in neighboring states were afraid that anxiety had already returned home.

The southwestern part of Nigeria is relatively peaceful compared to the northern part.

The bereaved family, Oleide Ajanak, lamented the death of her parents in a church attack and tweeted: I always hate this country. That’s a promise! “

Adesina and Orabinpe Ajanak were both retired teachers and devout believers in the Catholic faith.

Ogunkorode confirmed in the Epoch Times that Orabinpe Ajanak taught him in middle school.

At a Twitter space held on June 5th after the incident, British lecturer and Nigerian social critic Dipo Awodide maintained his stance that “the southwestern part of Nigeria will not be concessed for grazing cattle.” ..

His position is in line with Governor Akeredor’s pledges over the last two years.

A politician who turned into a prominent lawyer establishes a West Nigerian security network called Codename Operation Amotechn to assist excessive Nigerian security forces to end the armed violence that surfaced in the Southwest. He led six local governors.

Akeredre also banned field grazing in his governed states. Others follow suit.

Tunji Adeleye, commander of Ondo’s Amotechn, has not answered calls about the unit’s activities since its inception.

Lagos-based dispute resolution expert Radi Thompson warns that the attack represents a new frontier for the state of southwestern Nigeria aimed at disrupting President Muhammadu Buhari’s government. did.

“Ondo is not the first soft spot attacked in the southwest, development is another stage of the displacement sequence,” Thompson told The Epoch Times.

He recalled in 2018 warning the Governor of the Southwest about the control of armed militias in various forests in the region.

After the recent attacks, Mr. Thompson said Nigeria needs to reform strict gun control legislation that has left the church unprotected in countries where crime has crippled travel and the economy.

While some oppose arming Nigerian citizens to counter such attacks, Thompson proposes to adopt a gun ownership law similar to that protected by the U.S. Constitution. I said there is.

Gabriel Ogunjobi


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