The national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and presidential aspirant, Asiwaju Bola Tinubuon Monday, visited Owo, where gunmen attacked and killed dozens of worshippers in a church.
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State received Mr Tinubu.
Speaking at the Olowo of Owo’s palace, Mr Akeredolu described the Pentecost Sunday, when the incident happened, as “a black Sunday.”
“A heinous crime of this level has never been experienced in the Southwest.,” the governor said.
“A group of people, terrorists, came into a very serene area, into a city, and commit this horrific crime. It’s heart wrecking. This is unbearable and challenging to us. Like I said, we are determined to go after these criminals.”
Mr Tinubu said the attackers meant more damage than Governor Akeredolu described.
He assured that he will support the government to find the attackers.
“God in His infinite mercy saved some people. Some people died as a result of this evil act. We pray that they will not die in vain.
“We as promoters and supporters of this government, we will do everything to apprehend those who perpetrated this crime.
“Kabiyesi, may God Almighty give peace to you and the people of Owo and the families of those who are directly affected. It is very hard to take.”
Mr Tinubu was accompanied to Owo by a former speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; former Lagos Deputy Governor, Femi Pedro; former head of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu; Pius Akinyelure; among other prominent politicians in the country.
Mr Tinubu donated N50 million to the families of the victims of the attack and N25 million to the Catholic Church.
“Whatever we can do as politicians and as government supporters, we will do. We pray that Almighty God will continue to spare your lives. Government will not relent.”
Responding, the Olowo of Owo, Gbadegesin Ogunoye, called on the Federal Government to flush out all illegal occupants of the state forests across the South-west.
The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) also donated N50 million to victims of the attack
The Chairman of the NGF and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, made the donation when he paid a visit to the governor at the Government House on Monday in Akure.
Mr Fayemi was accompanied by a former governor of Ogun State and Senator representing Ogun Central Senatorial District, Ibikunle Amosun.
Both are also APC presidential aspirants.
They were later led by Mr Akeredolu to the residence of the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ondo, Jude Arogundade, before moving to Owo to commiserate with the Olowo of Owo in his palace.
Mr Fayemi, who described the attack as least expected, stated that Owo had been a very peaceful environment.
“It is a serious and unusual attack on the people who can’t go out and farm or worship God in peace. We are all shocked.
“Just like the governor said, these people shall not go unpunished. They will be hunted down and brought to book. But this cannot save the lives that have been lost or save the wounded from discomfort.
“As leaders of the people, we will redouble our efforts. This is happening across the county and we are concerned. We know how troubled you will be. And we know that this is something that troubles our minds.
“For now, the governments at the state and federal levels are working to bring the perpetrators to book.
“My colleagues in the Governors Forum have asked me to donate N50 million to the Catholic Church to ameliorate the condition of the families of the victims. This is a crime against humanity.” Mr Fayemi said.
The Bishop of Ondo Diocese described the attack as evil.
He urged the governors to ensure that those behind the killing and their sponsors were brought to book.
“I appreciate your coming and comment. How did we get here? Have we lost our mind and humanity? Even in war situation, nobody kills children and women. Nobody attacks the church.
“I am calling on you the leaders of the country, I think we need to talk and we need to be frank with ourselves.
“This cannot happen without the backing of some powerful people. Those behind this no matter how powerful they are must be brought to book.
“How are we presenting ourselves as primitive? Ondo state doesn’t deserve this. Humanity doesn’t deserve this. This doesn’t present us well. People are laughing us,” Mr Arogundade said. (NAN)