Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has assured that his administration will continue to maintain peace in the State,stressing that it is the responsibility of government.
The Governor commended the security agencies over the arrest of terrorists involved in the June 5, 2022 attack on St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo.
Governor Akeredolu spoke in his office on Tuesday during a courtesy visit to his office by officers of the Federal Fire Service, led by the South West Zone L, Commander and Assistant Comptroller of Fire Service, James Olatunji.
The Zone comprises Ondo, Osun and Ekiti States.
While thanking the Almighty God for the arrest of the perpetrators, the Governor noted that the blood of the innocent worshipers spilled in a sacred place of worship and the fervent prayers of the people also contributed to their arrest.
Arakunrin Akeredolu, who reiterated his administration commitment to protecting the people and their property, reemphasised that the recent shooting in Owo had nothing to do with the June 5 attack.
He said:”We knew about this about a week ago. Arrest has been made over a week ago. I know there was ongoing investigation and because of that, there was no need for us to make it public so that the security agencies, especially DSS, who were majorly involved are not compromised.
“The arrest were made about last week, we were briefed, but we had a pact with them not to go public and as at this morning two other people were arrested.
“We know that now that it has been made public, the security work may be difficult. We must thank Almighty God that this arrest has been made. Where they attacked was a sacred place and the prayers of the people have been answered.
“The blood of the innocent people they killed are crying. What happened in Owo thereafter, the recent shooting, was not to maim or kill. By the grace of God, we will continue to find a way to maintain peace in this state. That is what we owe our people.”
The Governor while stressing the importance of the fire service, said if not for their timely interventions at different occasions, properties worth several billions of naira would have been lost to various fire incidents in different parts of the state
Earlier, the Zonal Commander, James Olatunji, appreciated Governor Akeredolu for the harmonious relationship among the State government, the Federal and State Fire Services as well as all the security agencies in the state, adding that Governor Akeredolu has consistently supported the Federal Fire Service in the state with logistics and other important needs to boost their activities.
He also applauded the Governor for making the state safe and habitable for the citizenry by improving on the security architecture across the state, just as he expressed the readiness of his team to key into the security architecture of the state to further secure the lives and property of the poeple.
Olatunji revealed that between January 1 and August 9, 2022, the Service saved five lives while one life was lost during fire incidents. He added that property worth N3.139bn were saved just as the state lost property worth N164.2m.
According to him, the properties included houses, shops, market, event centres, fuel tankers, trucks and others.
He said a total of 46 cases were recorded during the period under review.
He added that just last Friday afternoon, he personally led a crew of fire service to Sijuwade area where properties worth N50m were saved.
He also gave the Toll Free emergency number as 112 and Ondo State Federal Fire Service emergency number 08133006400, in case of fire outbreak.