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Herdsmen ambush Cardinal Onaiyekan along Benin-Ekpoma road

... Bishops condemn attack, asks Buhari to wake up!
Information reaching our news desk is that late on Friday, April 29, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, escaped herdsmen ambush along Benin-Ekpoma road, in Edio State, reports ITRealms.

Onaiyekan, ITRealms gathered was attacked on his way from the 10 years anniversary celebration of the enthronement of Dr. Augustin Akubueze as a bishop and the 10 years anniversary celebration of the Uromi Diocese.

Narrating the ordeal, the driver to Onaiyekan, identified as Mr. Segun blamed the attack on herdsmen.

“We left Benin for Uromi and at about 5:00 p.m. on the fateful day, I think very close to Ehor, I saw a big pothole and decided to slow down the vehicle. I would have passed the spot with speed but because the Cardinal was sleeping, I decided to slow down the vehicle so that he won’t wake up. Suddenly, I saw three men came out of the palm tree plantation by the roadside and started shooting at the vehicle. I looked ahead of me; two of them were firing from a distance at the vehicle and I looked behind me; another one was firing at the vehicle from behind, so I decided to use reverse gear. 

"The other vehicles who saw me coming with reverse started clearing off the road and when I got to a safe distance I decided to stop the vehicle and people started running to see what had happened. It was then we realised that the bullets shattered the left passenger window glass and made huge holes on the panel of the door. We just thank God nothing happened to the Cardinal or any of us in the vehicle,” Segun recounted.

In his reaction, the Catholic Archbishop of Benin City, Dr. Augustin Akubueze, and his counterpart from Uromi Diocese, Dr. Donatus Ogun, decried the incident and appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to tackle the issue of the growing attacks by hoodlums in Edo State and Nigeria generally.

Appreciating God for saving the Cardinal and his entourage, Archibishop Akubueze said “We thank God that Cardinal Onaiyekan survived the attacks of some criminal elements on the Benin-Ekpoma road. If something had happened to him, what would have been the story? We thank God nothing happen and we are using this opportunity to appeal to Mr. President to provide adequate security for the citizens of Edo State.”

Insisting that the responsibility of a government is to secure her people, stressing that what the people are asking for is not too much for President Buhari.

“If there is no security of lives and property, no investments or meaningful economic development can take place in the state and the nation at large. We need security and we are demanding that from our government,” he said, noting that the spate of attacks by so-called herdsmen across the country “is becoming frightening.”

“There is an urgent need by the state and federal government to deal with the issue of security to protect lives and property of Nigerians with all seriousness,” he said.

Equally in his response Bishop Ogun wondered what would have happened if the Cardinal was killed? It would have been sorry and pains for us, considering that he was coming to attend the 10th anniversary of the creation of Uromi Diocese.

“We thank God he came out unhurt,” he said, reiterating the calls on Mr. President to wake up to his responsibilities, emphasising that Nigeria needs adequate security to protect the lives and property of the residents of the state and nation at large.


“We cannot continue to live in fear in our own land because of the activities of these criminals,” Bishop Ogun maintained.

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Pix: John Cardinal Onaiyekan.

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