The leader of Yoruba self-determination movement, Ilana Omo Oodua (IOOW), has called Sunday’s Owo Church attack a declaration of war against the Yoruba people.
On Sunday, June 5, gunmen attacked St. Francis Catholic Church in Owaluwa area of Owo, headquarters of Owo Local Government Area of Ondo state, killing over 50 members of the congregation, during the church service, while several others were left injured.
The armed men who invaded the church in Governor Rotimi Akeredolu’s country home in Volkswagen Golf 4, struck around 11:15 am at the peak of the service, shot sporadically into the church while some of them stationed themselves at the entrance of the church to prevent the people from escaping from the church.
Prof Banji Akintoye, leader of Ilana Omo Oodua Worldwide has now condemned the attack, saying such can’t happen again.
Akintoye said, “The effrontery of the Fulani marauders needs to be frankly and courageously confronted so as to prove to their sponsors that the Yoruba people can never be intimidated or subjugated.”
The Ilana group’s leader, in a statement by the Communications Secretary, Mr Maxwell Adeleye, titled, “Owo Catholic church attack is a declaration of war against Yoruba people – Akintoye”, called on Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, to declare an emergency against the activities of Fulani herdsmen in the state with immediate effect.
The statement read,
“We have stated it very expressly that the Yoruba people need to negotiate their exit from Nigeria as a matter of urgency, but our partisan political actors in Yorubaland never took us serious. We warned them that there’s fire on the mountain, but we were mocked because of their personal aggrandisement.
“Today, we have all been encircled, most especially, in Lagos. For herdsmen to have the effrontery of bombarding a church in Yorubaland to kill some people, shows that we are now in a realistic danger.
“My urgent advice to Governor Akeredolu is to pick up the gauntlet and declare an emergency against the activities of all Fulani herdsmen in the state with immediate effect. We have now been taken for granted. We need not pretend anymore. We must demand unanimously, an exit from Nigeria.
“We, the Yoruba people, cannot live in the same country with characters whose idea of common citizenship in Nigeria is to brutalise, subjugate and even exterminate us. It is time to leave these characters now. All stakeholders – the elites, traditional rulers, our women should act now.
“All the South-West states, including the Yoruba leaders in Kogi and Kwara states should equally declare an emergency against the activities of Fulani herdsmen. We must now take our destinies into our hands,”