By JOSHUA OLADIPO
OSOGBO- The last Sunday gruesome murder of worshippers at the St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State, by suspected gunmen, is a wake-up to all Nigerians to be firm in securing their communities.
Chief Ifagbenusola Atanda, the President, Ancient Religion Societies of African Descendants International Council (ARSADIC), made this assertions on behalf of traditionalists in Osogbo on Saturday.
Atanda, also the Asiwaju Awo Agbaye, said that “non conventional and traditional methods” remain the only way to fight and drive away those attacking and killing innocent Nigerians in their communities.
He said in a statement that time has come for everyone to adopt traditional means, like in the time past, to step up security in “our various communities and keep intruders and aggressors at bay”.
According to him, there is no doubt that governments alone could no longer secure lives and property of Nigerians.
“For whatever evil that befalls us, we are all to be blamed, because God has continued to give us signs of calamities ahead.
“But, we have not done enough to prepare or show capacity to push intruders and aggressors away from our communities.
“For many unbroken years, the bad elements within the country, who we believe are being driven by expansionist agenda, keep up their senseless killings.
“They keep on kidnappings of our people on the roads, in the sanctuary of religious places, comfort of our homes and work fields to intimidate us but we are yet to stand up and square up to them.
“Many traditional rulers, very prominent Nigerians and religious leaders, including the Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Samuel Kanu-Uche, have been kidnapped and huge ransoms received from them before their release.
“Even, some have been killed by these criminal elements always described as unknown gunmen or bandits,” he said.
Atanda said that God would never come down to defend people from the sinister and prey of “these evil-minded and blood-thirsty monsters”.
He said: “God has endowed us with brain and knowledge of what to do to survive as people in all situations.
“And, we want to assure our people that we are not going to fold our arms and allow these people to operate freely and unchecked on our God-given land.
“But, we need the cooperation of the people and our traditional rulers to play our part as traditionalists, who are prepared to combat these aggressive crooks the way our forefathers did to their forebears.”
The traditionalists decried the non cooperation of many traditional rulers, particularly in Yorubaland to work with them to secure their domains and by extension promote and protect the tradition and culture of their people to which they have sworn to uphold.
According to him, the traditional rulers are carried away by their “newfound” religious faiths and, therefore, could not maintain a spiritual balance required of them as royal fathers to their subjects.
He said that the assailants should not be seen as Moslems, but as terrorists, urging Yoruba people to put aside their religious differences and come together to fight a common cause for posterity.(NAN)