An Islamic human rights advocacy group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has condemned the manner some Nigerians wrongly blamed Fulani herdsmen for the Owo church attack.
Some terrorists on June 5, attacked St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State and shot and killed 40 worshippers during mass with speculations that the perpetrators were Fulanis.
Reacting to the news of the eventual arrest of the perpetrators by the military, MURIC said ” it is interesting to discover that contrary to the gargantuan mountain of blames heaped on Fulani herders over the attack, none of those arrested was a Fulani man. Rather, they are all from Okene.”
In a statement issued on Wednesday by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, the group also commended the security agencies for tracking down the culprits and urged Nigerians to desist from hating their country.
The statement reads:
“The Nigerian Army yesterday announced the arrest of those who attacked churchgoers at the St Francis Catholic Church, Owo, on Sunday, 5th June, 2022. The attack resulted in the death of 40 worshippers.
“However, it is interesting to discover that contrary to the gargantuan mountain of blames heaped on Fulani herders over the attack, none of those arrested was a Fulani man. Rather, they are all from Okene, Kogi State.
“It behoves Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to appease the Fulani victims of the reprisal attacks. Those who lost properties should be compensated. Some form of relief should also be provided for families of those who were killed among them.
“MURIC appeals to Nigerians to be circumspect, to avoid jumping to conclusions and, most importantly, to stop ethnic profiling and hasty judgement. There are criminals in all tribes just as there are decent people everywhere. Tribes do not commit crime. It is individuals who do.
“MURIC commends the security agencies for unmasking those behind the massacre. Their task was herculean, yet they did Nigeria proud by getting results within reasonable time. They proved beyond any reasonable doubt that no arm of the security agencies is sleeping.
“We charge cynics to rekindle the fire of hope in Nigeria. We will get positive results if our attitude to our soldiers, the police and the Department of State Services (DSS) is positive. We can only reap what we sow. The security agencies need our cooperation because they are not magicians. They need information.
“We cannot expect our country to change by hating it. Neither can we expect peace by working against the security agents. We must stop demarketing our country. Nigeria is a great country by all standards if only we will open our eyes to behold its greatness. Others envy our country. We must not sell it off so cheaply.”