from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – THE Nigerian state where gunmen killed worshippers this past weekend is rated as the most violent state in the southwest region.
At least 50 people were killed when gunmen attacked a church in the town of Oyo, Ondo State.
Tracked data from the Nextier Violent Conflict Database in the last 23 months show that Ondo is the most violent in the region, with 65 incidents leading to 80 casualties.
Nextier noted the statistics do not include the latest attack on religious worshippers.
Recurrent incidents in the state within a 23-month window include armed robbery, farmer-herder clashes, kidnappings and cultism.
Other southwest states such as Ogun and Oyo follow closely with 64 and 61 incidents, leading to 77 and 103 deaths, respectively.
Nextier cited the Fragile States Index powered by the Fund for Peace, indicating Nigeria was the 22nd most fragile state in 2006.
“Fifteen years later, Nigeria is the 12th most fragile state out of 176 countries,” Nextier added.
Sir Henry Yunkwap, National President of the Catholic Laity Council of Nigeria, called on the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to bring the culprits to book.
“We are indeed tired of words. We want action and the urgent arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of this evil act,” he said.
Save the Children’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Philippe Adapoe, denounced the attack.
“Our hearts are broken for the families of those killed in this senseless attack, including the innocent children who lost their lives while celebrating in a place of worship,” he said.
– CAJ News