President Muhammadu Buhari and other prominent Nigerians have condemned the massacre of worshippers at St Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Owo local government area of Ondo State.
Alleged Fulani herdsmen invaded the Christian gathering while church service was ongoing Sunday morning and opened live rounds on worshippers.
Reacting to the incident Mr Buhari in a statement by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, said sorrows awaits perpetrators of the dastard act.
He sent his condolences to the bereaved families of the victims, the church and the state government, charging emergency agencies to swing into action, and bring succor to the wounded.
“No matter what, this country shall never give in to evil and wicked people, and darkness will never overcome light. Nigeria will eventually win,” the President says.
Similarly, Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a statement on Facebook Sunday evening described the development as a painful episode whose end is near.
“I do hope that the state government and relevant security agencies will leave no stone unturned in apprehending the criminals and bringing them to justice,” Mr Abubakar wished.
Attackers crossed red line – Atiku
In another statement by Paul Ibe, the opposition candidate of the PDP for the 2023 presidential election said the alleged violent herdsmen crossed a red line.
“Any attack on innocent citizens indeed of a gathering of worshippers in any place in Nigeria stands condemned; it is a red line,” Atiku said.
“My prayers are with the people of Owo, especially families of the deceased. I do hope that the state government and relevant security agencies will leave no stones unturned in apprehending the criminals.
“I condole with all the affected families; the St. Francis Catholic Church Owa-luwa; the body of Catholic faithful in Nigeria and the people and government of Ondo State.
“Even as I pray that some day, very soon, we shall have a lasting solution to these painful episodes, I urge the security agencies not to relent in their efforts to fish out the culprits and bring them to justice.”
Attack signifies Nigeria fast becoming a failed State – Obi
Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, described the attack as a sign that the country was snowballing into a failed state.
“What happened in Owo today again adds to my position that our country is fast becoming a failed state,” the former Anambra governor said on Twitter Sunday evening. “All must now join hands in saving our country from this existential situation we find ourselves in today.
“I sympathise with the victims’ families, the Catholic Diocese of Ondo, the people and the Government of Ondo State. I urge the Federal Government and Ondo State Government to do whatever is possible to ensure that perpetrators of the dastardly act are brought to book,” he yearned.
In his reaction, former Lagos governor and presidential aspirant of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu, prayed for the healing and comfort for the injured and the bereaved while condemning the attack.
In a statement on his official Twitter account, Mr Tinubu commiserated with Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and people of the state.
Killing horrible, barbaric – Sani
A former federal lawmaker, Shehu Sani, described the as horrible, barbaric and called for its end in a tweet Sunday afternoon.
“The deadly attacks on the Ondo Catholic Church is a horrible,barbaric and condemnable act of terror,” Mr Sani noted. “All Nigerians must be united in denouncing the perpetrators of this heinous infamy.Everything must be done to bring the assailants to book.Enough of this bloodshed.”
Attack sign of government failure – Moghalu
Presidential aspirant on the platform of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Kingsley Moghalu, described the incident as failure on the part of the government whose topmost priority should be security of lives and properties.
“The terrorist attack on a church in Owo, Ondo State today, in which 40 people were reportedly killed, is a wicked and unconscionable act,” the former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said on Twitter. “I condemn it strongly, and ask @NigeriaGov to end its failure to protect the lives of Nigerians from terrorist marauders.
“My condolences to the families of the victims,” the tweep sympathised.
FG emboldening terrorists – PDP
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, the PDP said it was surprised that terrorists invaded the church, opened fire on worshippers, freely murdered Nigerians in cold blood, and left unchallenged.
“It is disheartening and traumatic to witness gory pictures and videos of children and the elderly murdered in cold blood this morning by terrorists with President Buhari and his apologists playing dumb to these happening by deodorizing terrorists as bandits,” the party’s statement partly reads.
“President Buhari and his government have irretrievably failed in the primary purpose of government which is to provide security and welfare for its citizens. This President has completely abdicated his duties, become numb to daily reports of killings, adductions, and kidnappings by terrorists, and remain absent when our nation needed him most.
“It is now crystal clear that President Buhari is incapable, incompetent and does not possess the capacity and integrity to hold office as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He is a failed leader and history will not be kind to him and his administration for his abysmal failure in office,” the PDP added.