The Southwest Governors Forum, have declared a 3-day mourning period in memory of the victims of the June 5, 2022 terror attack on St Francis Catholic, Owaluwa Street, Owo, Ondo State.
A communique issued after the virtual meeting of the Governors, stated that the mourning period will hold between Monday, 13th June, to Wednesday, 15th, June, 2022, to symbolise the collective loss across all South Western States in the country.
The communique was signed by all the Governors led by the chairman and Ondo State Governor, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN).
The communique reads: “The recent attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owaluwa Street, Owo, compels immediate intervention in the whole of the South West to nip the insidious phenomenon of insurgency in the bud.
“The meeting, consequently, took decisions, some of which are expected to have far-reaching implications in the quest to protect lives and property in the region”.
They condemn, in very strong terms, the crime perpetrated by the terrorist against the people and residents of Owo, Ondo State, and, by extension, the peace-loving people of the South West.
“The Governors agreed to declare a 3-day mourning period in memory of the victims of the 5th June, 2022 terror attack on St Francis Catholic, Owaluwa Street, Owo, Ondo State, starting from Monday, 13th June, to Wednesday, 15th, June, 2022 to symbolise our collective loss across all South Western states in Nigeria. The meeting agreed that all the Governors should direct the flying of Flags at Half Mast in all public buildings, facilitates and official residences across all the states in the South West in honour of the victims of the Owo terror attack.
“We noted, with great discomfiture, the increasing agitations about spaces taken over by unidentified and unknown migrants in all South West states. The meeting, therefore, recommends an increase in the scope of surveillance of the activities of these undocumented settlers by relevant security agencies in all the states. The Governors, as Chief Security Officers, resolved to continue to assist the security agencies in the areas of crisis management and intelligence gathering at all times.
“The Governors reviewed reports from various states on the factors militating against peace and security in the region. They expressed grave concern on the influx of Okada riders into all parts of the South West, especially the state capitals. The meeting further resolved that efforts be geared toward identity management of Okada riders and stringent regulation put in place for their operation”.
According to the governors, it was time to reconvene the South West Security Committee to look critically into this creeping menace before it blossoms into another intractable social problem.
“The Committee will be expected to submit its findings on the desirability of Okada operations in the region. It is also expected to submit a multi-level template to combat the threat of insurgency and terrorism in the region. The Forum agreed to convene forthwith a physical meeting of the South West Governors to deliberate on the security challenges confronting the region”, the communique added.