Women groups under the aegis of Womanifesto have paid a condolence and solidarity visit to the Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, over the dastardly act that occurred in Owo on June 5th, 2022.
The women groups were led by the Wife of the Governor, Chief Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu; the wife of the deputy Governor, Mrs Olúwaseun Aiyedatiwa to the Cocoa Conferences Hall, office of the Governor in Akure.
The women groups included: National Council of Women Societies, NCWS; Federation of Muslim Women Societies, FOMWAN; Red Cross; Market Women: Iyalojas, Iyalajes; Women Artisans and the Womanifesto Movement of Nigeria; among others.
The co-convener of the Womanifesto, Dr Abiola Akinyode-Afolabi described the Owo attack as yet another evidence of the blatant disregard for human life.
She lamented the incessant murder of defenseless citizens by criminal gangs who have been marauding unchecked across the country.
Dr Akinyode-Afolabi noted that the Owo killings was a pointer that the security architecture of the country has collapsed, adding that the president has a constitutional duty to protect Nigerians.
She said:”Womanifesto demands in the medium term, a comprehensive restructure of Nigeria’s security architecture through a National conversation on a new efficient constitution that will replace the 1999 constitution which is inadequate in catering to our present realities.
“We believe that the Governor of Ondo State has a voice . And the voice is distinct. We believe he can take our words to Mr President. What we saw in Owo is evident that our security architecture in the country has collapsed. We have to do something now.”
The group demanded that the identities of all victims of the Owo tragedy, both dead and injured should be published.
They also called on the government to demonstrate accountability and carry out a speedy investigation that is conclusive, leads to arrest, successful judicial prosecution and sentencing of the killer.
In her remarks, Wife of the Ondo State Governor, Chief Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu lamented that it is not the best time for mothers.
The First Lady stressed that the women are bleeding from the bad razor put on the bond that binds women to their own.
“As a peculiar breed that is delicately woven with her own beyond umbilical artery, this convergence is a poignant reminder for us that giving birth is just the beginning of a crucial, complex and lifelong role of raising and keeping a family.
“A painful and doleful gathering this is; one that I truly wish we do not have to make, but which we are constrained to do because the carnage of Sunday June 5, 2022, at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owaluwa street, Owo, put a bad razor on the bond that binds us to our own, hence we bleed.
“In mourning, we have chosen this way to express our grief, to say our sense of huge personal loss, and to demand that the beasts who frittered away the vast labour of mothers by slaughtering and maiming our own be made to answer for this heinous act.
“We have also taken this route to identify with our sisters who lost children and husbands to this horrendous carnage, our men who suffer unspeakable loss, and of course, to stand by our own Governor Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN, who, through this testy period has displayed great concern, compassion and courage as a leader.
“Even in this state of dire emptiness, we pray for strength for our bereaved families, the repose of the souls lost, healing for the bruised and unbridled peace for our dear Sunshine State,” she said.
Governor Akeredolu maintained that such horrendous attack has never happened in the Southwest, saying the Southwest people have always come to Nigeria in peace.
He stressed that the country is battling a trilogy, adding that the Fulani herdsmen destroy farms and kill, while the Boko haram is involved in killings and banditry, and the ISWAP.
“Like one of my heroes said, Prof. Wole Soyinka. It is a trilogy. The Fulani herdsmen, the Boko Haram. And now ISWAP,” the Governor said.
While describing the attack as horrendous, Governor Akeredolu said what happened in Owo is better told than seen.
He assured that the government will spare nothing to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book.
The Governor appreciated members of Staff of the Federal Medical Centre, Owo; St. Louis Hospital, Owo; Ministry of Health; the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital (UNIMEDTH) and the students of the College of Health Technology, Akure.
Governor Akeredolu further noted that the Marauders perpetrating the crime have remained unchecked across the country.
“We are worried about the state of security in the country today. If we have done proper restructuring and we have had our own people, we would defend ourselves. These animals in human skin have remained totally unchecked. We believe in One Nigeria.
“We are talking about how government can be effective. Let us devolve power to the states,” he said.