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Owo Attack Was A Message To Us – Soyinka

Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has said the attack on St Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State, was a message to the people who responded by showing that they were not slaves.

The attack on the church by gunmen on Sunday left 40 dead and many others injured and hospitalised.

Paying a condolence visit to the Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, Soyinka revealed that the governor was the target.

His words: “He (Gov Akeredolu) was targeted and there is no question about that. It was not an accident, and it is passing a massage to the rest of us. That is why I’m here. I want the Governor to know that we have received the message. We understand it and we came to sympathize with him that he was selected as a medium of that message.

“So, the answer we must give to the message we all received is that we are not slaves. Here, on our own soil, having had the experience of century of disdain, contempt about us as black people. Again some characters come along calling themselves whatever, ISWAP, Boko Haram.

So, all those groups including those who are just opportunists – the herdsmen, they are making a mistake. I want the Governor to realize they are making a mistake.

“I have been on this issue for quite some times. This invasion has been on and these herdsmen are all over the forests. We are dealing with people who are obsessed with domination; it is in their blood, it is in their creed, their psyche that they need to dominate. At a time we thought it was Boko Haram, we didn’t know that Fulani herdsmen were capitalising on the fundamentalist insurgency and brutality.

“And that is why we see a nexus of operation between ISWAP, Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen. They work singularly, individually and they work collectively. I know Ondo State has always been at the forefront of awareness.” Prof. Soyinka said.

Governor Akeredolu appreciated the Nobel laureate for the condolence visit, saying that the state would remain hugely indebted to him.

“It is a cause that he has dedicated his life to, and I thank God for his life. The state wants to appreciate you for finding time to come at this hour of grieve. This is like a dagger drawn to our heart, and it is an assault on our psyche. The psyche of those of us in the South-West and Western Region.

“I think they think they can create some fears in us but they made a mistake because this will make us more fierce in our condemnation of their actions. And we are not hiding it.” Governor Akeredolu said.

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