OSOPADEC Chairman Sam Erejuwa on Friday led the Board and key Management staff of the Commission on a condolence visit to the ancient town of Owo over the attack witnessed on Sunday 5th June, 2022 at the St. Francis Catholic Church, Owa-luwa, Owo.
At the palace of the Paramount Ruler of Owo Kingdom, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Ajibade Gbadegesin Ogunoye III, the Chairman, Hon. Sam Erejuwa commiserated with the monarch, the people of Owo, the victims, the families of the deceased, the citizens and government of Ondo state.
In his words, ”the Board, Management and Staff of OSOPADEC are here today to pay homage and commiserate with you on this satanic attack that shook the entire South West and Nigeria in general. There is nothing we can do for the deceased than to empathise with their families. We pray there will be no more death, and those on the hospital beds will receive divine healing”.
”Today, it is a dangerous thing to travel on the road because of the fear of kidnappers. We are also scared to go to farms because of herdsmen attack. Now that the house of God, which should be the safest place in the world is now being attacked, where do we run to?”
Erejuwa described the attack as a satanic agenda aimed at creating fear in the minds of the good and law abiding people of Ondo State.Applauding the State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN for making security of lives and properties his utmost priority, Erejuwa assured that nemesis will soon catch up with the perpetrators of the injurious act. He appealed to residents to continue to support the South West Security network (Amotekun) in its effort to rid the state of criminal elements.
While responding, the bereaved monarch, Oba Ajibade Gbedegesin Ogunoye III appreciated the Chairman and his entourage for the visit. The attack he said was a sad experience which is better imagined than witnessed. In his words, ”we never believed such could happen in our environment here. Though we have heard and watched on Television, about the sad occurrences in the Northern parts of Nigeria, but now it seems to be getting nearer and finally in Yoruba land”.
Oba Ogunoye commended the initiative of the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN for using his knowledge of the law and exposure in establishing the South West Security Network (Amotekun) which has so far recorded great success.”
Though it was a collaborative effort by the governors of the South Western states, but our governor was at the forefront of its establishment” Ogunoye stressed.
The Chairman and his team also showed solidarity with the Priests and members of the St. Francis Catholic Church, Owa-luwa, Owo where the attack took place.
In his condolence message, Erejuwa condemned the sacrilegious act. He prayed for the Church and the victims of the attack.
According to him, ”We are here to tell you we stand with the church and the people of Owo in this difficult moment. No word is enough to reverse what has been done and no amount of relief materials can heal the wounds. We pray the Lord will heal your wound, and that God, the Great physician will visit those in the hospital and heal their wounds”.
Chief Anthony Ojukwu, Chairman, Catholic Men Organisation who received relief funds on behalf of the Parish Priest thanked the Commission for its solidarity, love and concern to the Church, the victims and to the people of Owo. The condolence team thereafter visited the St. Louis Catholic Hospital, Owo to commiserate with the victims of the act.
At the hospital, Erejuwa and his team moved round the wards to identify with the victims. He appreciated the medical team for their kind and selfless attention to the victims. He further reiterated that it is a bad thing for criminal elements to attack innocent people, especially in worship centres.
The Chairman prayed for the repose of the lost souls and wished the injured victims accelerated recovery. ”Our prayer is that the souls that had gone will rest in peace. No more death will be recorded and God will heal those on the sick bed. This is a very trying time for Owo Kingdom, Ondo state and Nigeria at large; but such will never be recorded again.” Erejuwa said.
Reacting, Reverend Sister Agnes, the administrator of the hospital appreciated the Chairman, Board and management of the Commission for the show of love. According to her, “this is an indication that the pains and sufferings of the victims are shared”. She emphasised that the Commission’s gesture in cash and kind is a source of motivation for the health workers to continue their care for the victims.
While commenting on the visit, the Secretary of the Commission, Dr. Victor Koledoye said though the mandate of the agency is limited to Ilaje and Ese-Odo local government areas of the state. But what happened in Owo has affected everyone. That is why the Chairman, Board and Management of the Commission are here to commiserate and show solidarity with the church, victims and entire people of Owo.
The last point of call was the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owo where Hon. Erejuwa hailed the medical personnel for medical promptness in the course of discharging their duties and by standing with the people of Owo. He prayed for the victims’ quick recovery and peace of God upon the bereaved families.