FILE PHOTO: A view of St. Francis Catholic Church where worshippers were attacked by gunmen during Sunday mass, is pictured in Owo, Ondo, Nigeria June 6, 2022. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja/File Photo
Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday accused the Federal government of a cover-up in the deadly terror attack at the Catholic Church In Owo, Ondo State in the first week of June.
The group alleged that the terrorists responsible for the deadly attack may never be arrested by the Federal government going by the apparent cover-up gambit that the security Council has kick-started, by naming the Islamic State West African Province (IPSWAP) as the attackers in clear contradiction to claims by victims and survivors of the attack, who had pointed to Fulani terrorists as the masterminds.
HURIWA in a statement by its national coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, also condemned the President for failing to visit the scene of the Catholic Church attack and particularly for not honouring the victims with his presence at their burial.
The group said: “It is practically impossible for the government to be transparent and accountable with the exact features, characteristics and identity of the terrorists, given the fact that the dominant members of the Security Council under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration are Moslems and the unfortunate fact that 100 per cent of the heads of internal security institutions are Moslem Northerners and mostly Fulanis, same as the suspected attackers.
“Government was also involved in the cover-up of the armed herdsmen that attacked and killed many Benue State and Southern Kaduna people over the past seven years.
“Besides, the attack at the Catholic Church in Owo Ondo State is only one out of the over three dozens, including the attack at the Saint Theresa Catholic Church in Madala near Abuja in 2011, in which one of the principal attackers who was arrested and reportedly jailed by the immediate past administration Kabiru Sokoto, was released when the current administration came. There was speculation in 2016 that he was released secretly even though the Nigeria Prison service claimed he was still in jail even without any shred of evidence.