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Again, robbers raid Catholic Church

Posted by THOMAS IMONIKHE, Acting News Editor and LUKKEY ABAWURU on 2005/08/23 | Views: 582 |

Again, robbers raid Catholic Church


RAMPAGING armed robbers yesterday defiled the premises of yet another Catholic Church, St. Augustineís Parish, Owutu, Ikorodu, Lagos State, making away with an exotic jeep and a Volvo car.

ēGani, others task Police

RAMPAGING armed robbers yesterday defiled the premises of yet another Catholic Church, St. Augustineís Parish, Owutu, Ikorodu, Lagos State, making away with an exotic jeep and a Volvo car.

They reportedly held the parish priest, Rev. Daniel Onyeananam and some worshippers, who came for early morning mass hostage for several hours before escaping with their loot which also included other personal valuables.

The latest attack brings to six the number of parishes of the Catholic Church in Lagos, Oyo and Cross River States that have been, attacked by bendits in the past three weeks.

Three of the previous ones occurred in Lagos where Deacon Godwin Okwesili of St. Dominicís Yaba, was shot dead.

Reacting to the attacks yesterday legal luminary Chief Gani Fawehimni (SAN) urged the Federal Government and police to unmask the attackers.

However, Daily Champion learnt that in the Ikorodu attack gunem scaled the wall into the church started shooting indiscrimintely to scare the early worshippers, but lack of police presence in the area ensured smooth operation.

Following the successful attack Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ade Ajakaiye was said to have querried the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Owutu Police Station for not providing security at the church.

Acting Inspector-General of police had directed DPOs to provide security in the churches in Lagos.

However, Rev. Onyeananam, who alerted the police, said the bandits stormed the place when worshippers were observing their morning mass.

Other churches earlier attacked in Lagos are St. Leo, Ikeja where a security officer was killed while the last one was at St. Cypranís Catholic Church, Oko-Oba Agege.

Like yesterday attack no life was lost at the Agege Church but valuables were alleged to have been stolen.

Confirming the incident at Owutu yesterday, Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Olubode Ojajuni said that the church members were in the building for early morning mass when people whom he described as hoodlums struck and stole the vehicle.

He stated that efforts are on the track down the fleeing hoodlums as well as recover the stolen vehicles.

Ojajuni said that the Reverned father reported the incident at Ikorodu police station.

Meanwhile, Chief Fawehinmi has condemned recent robbery attacks on Catholic Churches, saying that the Federal Government and the police owe Nigerians a duty to unmask the attackers.

Similarly, Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Bamidele Aturu said the robberies were indicative of porous security situation in the country even as he canvassed immediate overhaul of the nationís crime fighting outfits.

Condemning the robberies, however, in an interview with Daily Champion, Gani said it was quite curious they were being perpetrated at a period the head of Catholic Church in Nigeria, Anthony Cardinal Okogie was advocating good governance among all tiers of government.

Okogie, he said, had been in the vanguard of those demanding that President Olusegun Obasanjo quit office in 2007.

"Why are churches of other denominations not being attacked by the so-called robbers? The police owe it a duty to investigate why Catholic Churches should bear the brunt. I suspect that these attacks may be politically motivated," he alleged.

He said the war on crime could only be won if the federal, state and local governments provide good governance including poverty alleviation programmes and boost productive activities in the country.

This, he said, could be achieved through a drastic cut in the current high interest bank rates, governmentís continued control of major sectors of the nationís economy and strict enforcement of the rule of law.

According to him, reduction in interest rate would enable Nigerians obtain bank loans and invest in business ventures to create new employment and engage idle hands.

"Government must peg the interest rates so that Nigerians are not made spectators in the economy of this country. Nigerians should be participants but you cannot participate if you donít have access to fund," he stated.

In his reaction to the robberies, Mr. Aturu, who is the national convener of a pro-democracy group, United Action for Democracy (UAD), noted the trend showed a near-collapse of the nationís security agencies.

Said he: "We are concerned that the security apparatus has broken down completely. Corruption and inefficiency have crept into the law enforcement agencies churches and mosques are not spared.

"There is need for government to do something urgently by overhauling the security system to guarantee improved security in the country."

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown