Consequent upon Sunday’s invasion of the St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State by suspected bandits, during which many unsuspecting worshippers were massacred, the South-West Group of Online Publishers (SWEGOP) has alerted governors of South-West states on need to rise up in unanimity to prevent future occurrence.
The group also urged the governors to as a matter of urgency and necessity embark on statewide registration of commercial motorcycle riders popularly called Okada riders with a view to have a database for all legitimate Operators in their various states and prevent crimes emanating from their operations.
The chairman, Mr Olayinka Agboola and Mr Remi Oladoye, the Public Relations Officer (PRO)of the online publishers in a statement, specifically urged the governors to tighten security on commercial motorcycle operators through a coordinated data system to separate criminal elements from law-abiding operators.
“A situation whereby everybody is coming from everywhere, including neighbouring countries, to operate okada unchecked could mean a recipe for surprise attacks like what was witnessed in Owo on Sunday. It is high time our governors went after those who disguise as okada riders but are gun carriers and peddlers. They are in our midst already, but with governors’ resolve, they can be sent back to where they came from,” he noted.
SWEGOP commiserated with the bereaved Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and people of the state over the incident, praying to God to repose souls of the victims and grant families they left behind the fortitude to bear the loss.
“The evil these strangers do in our midst is becoming too much to bear. Our leaders should, therefore, rise up now to this challenge before they wipe everybody off,” the statement concluded.