South-West govs to rejig security, lawmakers demand attackers’ arrest


State governors from the South-West on Tuesday promised to rejig the security architecture of the region to forestall a recurrence of the June 5 terrorists attack on St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State, which left at least 40 persons dead.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State disclosed this in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile.

Akosile quoted the governor as speaking during a condolence visit to the Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), at the State House in Akure.

Sanwo-Olu and his colleagues, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State and Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq of Kwara State, also donated N25 million each, totalling N75 million, to the people who were affected in the attack.

Speaking to journalists during the condolence visit, Sanwo-Olu said South-West governors will continue to strengthen internal collaboration and security within the region.

He said, “We had a South-West governors meeting last week and few steps have been taken. First is that we have agreed to have a three days mourning period and flags are being flown at half-mast.

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“We have taken steps to strengthen and further reinforce the security architecture in the South-West; of course including things around transportation.

“We find the attack, not just an attack on the good people of Owo and Ondo State but the entire people of the South-West. My brothers and I have decided to support the good people of Owo with a token sum of N25 million each, totalling N75 million. We indeed pray that such incidents like this will never reoccur.”

In his remark, Akeredolu appreciated the governors for the condolence visit, noting that his brother governors in South-West and other parts of the country have been in touch with him and sympathised with the people of the state.

Akeredolu, who is the Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, also reiterated the commitment of the governors to the security of lives and property in the geo-political zone.

He declared that the people of the South-West will not tolerate another unprovoked attack on the region under any guise.

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“This is an assault on us, on our psyche. We cannot continue this way. We believe in this place, we believe in South-Western region, we believe in Yoruba. Is Yoruba part of the Nigeria we believe in? Yes. But I thank you for your solidarity. You have come all the time and we have always worked together, all of us,” Akeredolu said.

In his remarks, Ogun governor, said, “Of course we have met and we have condemned this act which we find as most unfortunate. Your Excellency, this is an attack too many.

“We know that you have been at the vanguard of ensuring peace and security for your people. In fact, you are the champion of the Amotekun in the South-West.”

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has said security agencies will remain under fire until they arrest and prosecute the attackers.

Speaking at the plenary on Wednesday, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, noted that the parliament has various issues relating to governance to tackle before the 2023 general elections, one of which is insecurity.

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He said, “Between now and the general elections, we have to resolve to devote our minds and energy to the pressing concerns of governance.  This is what the people who sent us here expect of us at this time when we have various significant challenges to contend with.

“This House demands that the security agencies identify the perpetrators and sponsors of this depraved act, and we will hold their feet to the fire until they do so.”

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