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Owo church attack a big message to Yorubas – Soyinka

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Soyinka warns Nigerian government against muzzling dissenting voices

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, on Friday condemned last weekend’s attack on a Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State.

Gunmen had last Sunday killed 40 worshippers at Francis Catholic Church in the Owo local government area of the state.

Soyinka, who paid a condolence visit to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, described the attack as a big message to Yoruba people.

He stressed that it was targeted at the governor over his commitment to internal liberation.

The playwright, therefore, charged the people of the state to be on the alert, adding that such condemnable act must not be allowed to continue.

He said: “We are dealing with people who are obsessed with domination; it is in their blood, it is in their creed, their psyche that they need to dominate.

READ ALSO: Akeredolu disagrees with Nigerian govt on perpetrators of Ondo church attack, renews call for state police

“He was targeted and there is no question about that. It was not an accident, and it is passing a massage to the rest of us. That is why I’m here. I want the governor to know that we have received the message. We understand it and we came to sympathize with him that he was selected as a medium of that message.

“So, the answer we must give to the message we all received is that we are not slaves. Here, on our own soil, having had the experience of a century of disdain, and contempt about us as black people. Again some characters come along calling themselves whatever, ISWAP, Boko Haram. So, all those groups including those who are just opportunists – the herdsmen, are making a mistake. I want the governor to realize they are making a mistake.

“I have been on this issue for quite some times. This invasion has been on and these herdsmen are all over the forests. At a time we thought it was Boko Haram, we didn’t know that herdsmen were capitalising on the fundamentalist insurgency and brutality.

“And that is why we see a nexus of operation between ISWAP, Boko Haram and herdsmen. They work singularly, individually and they work collectively. I Know Ondo State has always been at the forefront of awareness.”

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