By MUFTAU OGUNYEMI
AKURE- Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, has warned that the people of the Southwest would not tolerate another unprovoked attack on the region under any guise.
Akeredolu spoke on Tuesday at the Government House in Akure while receiving Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-olu of Lagos State, and Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the immediate past governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, also joined the entourage to pay condolence visit to Akeredolu over the June 5, 2022, terror attack in Owo Local Government Area.
Akeredolu, who said the people of Ondo State and Southwest region at large, had always come to the country in peace and unity, described the Owo attack as “one too many”.
He appreciated the governors for their solidarity, which he described as not just symbolic but important, and noted that the people of the Southwest region had always maintained peace and unity in the country.
“We are part of this country and we have always come to this country in peace and we have maintained peace. We have been trying every time to maintain Nigeria because we believe in Nigeria.
“Let someone point to an incident in which we left our enclave or we left this peaceful environment and went to cause problems in other places. Let them tell us.
“We have come to this country in peace, and now people want to visit us with war. You want to maim and kill us; it is not easy.
“It is a dreadful assault. I said to people that if we were at war and we were armed and faced ourselves, in one day 40 people would not die from our side. But this is not war, we were not at war.
“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,” he said.
According to Akeredolu, “If you get to the scene, I’m sure it will bring tears out of your eyes. These criminals, these animals in human skin, what they did was horrendous”.
“They did not come to kidnap, they did not come to steal, they took no dime. They went into the church and shot at everything within their sight,” the governor lamented.
Earlier, Gov. Abiodun, who spoke on behalf of the other governors, said the attack was not just on the good people of Owo and Ondo State, but the entire people of the South-West region.
He announced the donation of N25 million from each of the governors, totaling N75 million for the victims of the attack.
Abiodun disclosed that the region would soon meet to take a position to further consolidate and improve the security architecture in the zone.
“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.
“We, your brothers, wonder if this is more personal because of the role you have played in ensuring that our zone is secured.
“One wonders if there is a particular reason this attack was launched in your hometown of Owo. We are deeply pained, we are deeply saddened and we commiserate with you.
“We pray for the lives of the departed, we pray that the almighty God forgives their sins and accepts their souls.
“We commiserate with their families, we sympathise with those that are still in the hospitals,” Abiodun said. (NAN)