PRESS RELEASE ON ONDO MASSACRE – ANOTHER SAD DAY IN NIGERIA’S HISTORY!

“The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened”.. John F. Kennedy.

Global Rights condemns in strong terms the vicious massacre of scores of worshippers at the St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo in Ondo state during a church service on the 5 th of June, 2022. The killing of innocent worshippers in cold blood during a religious event is a sad reminder of the realities to the government of Nigeria to ensure the security and welfare of all Nigerians as mandated by Section 14(2)(b) of the Nigerian Constitution. We condole with the people of Ondo state, in particular, residents of the affected community in Owo, and the Catholic Church at large.

The South-West of Nigeria had till this despicable carnage had relatively been spared the intolerable level of insecurity suffered by other regions of the country. This brazen attempt to unsettle the amity of the region should therefore be greeted with strong resistance by both the Federal Government and State governments of the South-West region to forestall further deterioration of security in the region.

We note with displeasure the body language of the political class, especially the President, who within hours of the attack, feted his party leadership to a pre-primaries dinner party at the Presidential Villa. The dinner party which was attended by the Vice President, the Senate President, the leadership of the ruling APC, and other presidential aspirants of the party was a sheer display of insensitivity and further underscored the notion that Nigerian lives are cheap and the unfortunate event did not warrant sobriety and attention.

We are appalled by the continued upsurge in mass atrocities across the country in recent times. These continued acts of terrorism are an affront to the territorial integrity of the Nigerian state and a threat to its national security and must therefore not be allowed to spread any further.

We therefore call on the Nigerian government to fulfil its constitutional responsibility of protecting the security and welfare of all citizens through the implementation of a more robust approach to curbing terrorism across the country. The government must take deliberate action in addressing the immediate and remote circumstances that are exacerbating terrorism and other forms of mass atrocities across the country.

Finally, we call upon all Nigerians to remain vigilant and rise to our call to collectively resist this abnormal situation that is becoming a norm in Nigeria and demand accountability from the government knowing that no one is safe till everyone is safe.

Signed:
Abiodun Baiyewu
Executive Director, Global Right

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