Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday, assured that the perpetrators of Sunday’s attack on the St Francis Catholic Church in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State, would be hunted and prosecuted.
Osinbajo stated this when he visited Owo town and the Catholic Church to commiserate with the clergy, community and people of the State.
DIPLOMATIC DIARY reports that scores of worshippers, including children, were shot dead by gunmen who opened fire during the weekly Sunday Service at the Church.
Osinbajo according to a statement issued on Monday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, described the incident as a terrible tragedy and unspeakable evil by depraved minds and terrorists.
He said “the President has already ordered a full-scale investigation of this crime. Without any doubt, those who perpetrated this will be fished out and they will pay for the consequences of this crime.”
Noting the President’s statement condemning the dastardly act, Osinbajo added, “this barbaric act is one that has to be condemned by all. But more importantly, we must find the perpetrators and they must be punished, and we must set an example.
“Anyone who will go into a place where there are children, elderly people and shoot them, throw explosives at them, cannot be dignified by their description as humans.”
Expressing condolences to the traditional ruler, the entire community and people of the state, the vice president said the Federal Government, through the security agencies, will ensure that the perpetrators are found and justice is done.
“This is the pledge that the Federal Government has made through the security agencies, that the perpetrators are found, and that we are able to discover exactly what it is that led to this situation in Owo, which, as you said, is a peaceful community that is not known for excessive behaviour. We need to investigate this thoroughly and find out exactly the situation.
“You can be sure of the Federal Government’s resolve to ensure that we don’t just support the efforts of the state government in every way we can, but to ensure that this act of terrorism is punished. But also, more importantly, to ensure that going forward, we are able to protect the citizens of this state, and the citizens of all states around Nigeria”, he said.
The vice president commended the courage and resoluteness of the priest and the church’s congregation in handling the situation, despite the gravity and loss of their loved ones.
He also visited those who were injured at St. Louis Catholic Hospital in the town. He also visited the palace of the Olowo of Owo, Oba Ajibade Ogunoye III in the company of Governor Akeredolu where he said his visit was on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, who sent his condolences.
Dispelling notions that the vice president’s convoy was involved in an auto crash, Laolu noted that the video footage circulated online was from an accident scene where he had stopped to lend help on his way to the airport en-route to Ondo State.
“He then stopped at that point to lend assistance to the victim, and the convoy’s security and medical teams assisted in removing the victim from the crash, as the car had somersaulted and got stuck on a tree.
“Prof. Osinbajo ensured that the injured was then transported to the Airforce Base Hospital before he proceeded on his journey to Ondo State”, the statement read.
The vice president has since returned to Abuja on Monday afternoon.