Report says Nigerian govt shielded herdsmen, blamed ISWAP for Owo attack
Burial mass for the victims

A report by Knoxville News Sentinel has said Nigerian officials blamed the terror attack on St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State, on the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), while avoiding references to networks of politically powerful herdsmen.

The government had blamed ISWAP terrorists for the bloody massacre of about 40 worshippers at the Owo Church, even when witnesses said the attackers were herdsmen.

Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, had described the conclusion by the federal government as “hasty,” while doubting the possibility of ISWAP being responsible for the attack.

According to a senior fellow at the Religious Freedom Institute in Washington DC, Stephen Rasche, Nigerian Christians no longer trust their own government or the leaders of the United States and the European Union.

On the Owo massacre, Rasche said, “These types of murders are taking place weekly, almost daily, in Nigeria — murders of innocent Christians, being gunned down, slaughtered indiscriminately, throughout the north and, increasingly, into the central part of Nigeria and into the south.”

On how the Nigerian Christians are reacting, he said many of them simply “throw up their hands,” because they no longer trust their own government or the leaders of the United States and the European Union.

“They don’t look at us as being serious about any of these things,” he said.

“They are completely disillusioned that the US government is going to have any kind of effective role to play. They’ve just given up that anybody in the West is going to come to their aid,” he added.

 

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