Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group:- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has accused the Federal government of using a routine media propaganda in the case of the terrorists who bombed and killed over 50 Catholic church worshippers in owo, Ondo State.
The Rights group said the public celebration by the government of the nabbing of the suspected terrorists in the Owo Ondo State genocide inside the Catholic Church is not the main issue because this government has the notoriety of setting Islamic terrorists free or failing deliberately to prosecute them, protect their detention centres thereby enabling the easy escape of terrorists.
HURIWA said there is no guarantee that the owo incident would be different because in the last seven years, no significant Islamists and mass murderers have been successfully prosecuted, jailed and secured inside of the prisons.
“Government of President Muhammadu Buhari has no good record of successfully prosecuting Islamic terror masterminds but is notorious for deploying empty media rhetoric’s to hoodwink undiscerning members of the public to believe that actions are been adopted to deal with terrorists.
“We want Nigerians to ask the Inspector General of Police for instance, where are the terrorists, kidnappers and Fulani bandits purportedly arrested and paraded in the media since 7 years back. Can the IGP give Nigerians a breakdown of the well over five thousand terrorists paraded over the last seven years whose information are no longer made known until another batch of the terrorists are to be paraded? HURIWA is worried that government officials seriously think that Nigerians are people without retentive memory or a population incapable of demanding accountability from their government which is why this government deploys lame, illogical and laughable media propaganda to handle serious matter of threats to the sovereignty of Nigeria and the National Security interests which terrorist attacks constitute. Why tell us you have arrested terrorists but you don’t have any agenda for prosecuting them to finality and when you send them to awaiting trial detention centres, the moles the All Progressives Congress planted in the Federal Prisons will sabotage the security of the facilities so detained terrorists can escape?”
Acvordingly, HURIWA asserted that the information by the Defence Chief that the terrorists who bombed the Catholic church in Owo Ondo State have been picked will remain in the realm of empty media propaganda until this government through the Federal Attorney General prosecutes and obtain conviction and then the weak minister of interior is able to protect the detention facilities and not let internal saboteurs manipulate the system to free the terrorists”.
HURIWA recalled that the military high command has confirmed the arrest of Owo catholic church bombers. The arrest, according to the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor was made possible by joint operations of all the security agencies. The CDS, who listed their names noted that the suspects, who are members of Islamic State of West Africa (ISWAP) are in custody.
HURIWA recalled that 40 people were killed when the gunmen stormed the church on June 5, opened fire on the congregation, and also detonated explosives as the worshippers scampered for safety. Operatives of Amotekun Corps in Ondo State had earlier claimed they also arrested some suspects in connection with the killings. Briefing journalists in Akure on June 23, the state Commander of Amotekun, Adetunji Adeleye, expressed assurance that all the attackers of the worship center would be apprehended. Adeleye, however, did not give the actual figure of the suspected terrorists arrested.
HURIWA quoted the Amotekun chief as stating earlier thus:“As regards the Owo incident, we have recovered the last vehicle they used for that operation and we made some arrests and we have also recovered some vital things which we are working on. “A number of people have been arrested concerning the Owo issue as well as a well number of equipment. On that day, we pursued them to the point that we recovered the vehicle and we are still pursuing them We have told you that until we get to the root, I can assure you that the perpetrators and their sponsors will be brought to book.”
In the light of these inconsistencies and deliberate use of media propaganda to try to deceive Nigerians regarding the bombing of a packed Catholic Church in Owo Ondo State, HURIWA has told the military that their propaganda won’t work but what will work is efficient and effective crackdown on terrorists no matter their Ethno-religious affiliatiations.