The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council, OYC, has described the killing of the Parish Priest of St. James, The Greater Catholic Church, Ugbawka in Nkanu East Local Government Area of the state, Rev. Fr. Paul Offu as highly provocative.
DAILY POST had reported that the cleric was murdered on Thursday by yet to be identified gunmen, a development that has sparked outrage across the country.
Following the development, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi had also on Friday convened an emergency security council meeting, during which far reaching decisions were taken.
Reacting, in a statement he personally signed Friday night, the OYC President-General, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro tasked the Federal Government, especially the office of the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, to rise up and ensure that Christians were protected all over the country.
He alleged that “there is ongoing deliberate plans with evil intention to unleash terrorism on the Church leaders in the Southern Nigeria,” warnng that “if care is not taken, with urgent steps to halt this ugly trend, youths might revolt along religious and ethnic lines; there’s need to beef up Security around the Churches nationwide.
“The murder of the priest is a calculated and provocative action with evil intent, aimed at stopping the proposed establishment of Forrest Guards and Community Neighbourhood Watch proposed by the South East Governors.
“With the rising tension in the Southern Nigeria, especially in the South East, over the killing of Clergymen and Religious leaders of Igbo stock, it’s high time we flushed out all the remnants of killer herdsmen hiding in all the forestry reserve areas across the 95 LGAs of South East.
“This is a clarion call for Igbo Youths, all Biafra agitators, and Neighbourhood Watch groups, to volunteer and do the needful across the bushes and forests in search of the killer herdsmen in the South East, in bid to flush them out.
“We equally call for the unconditional release of abducted five ministers of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, along the Ijebu Ode Axis on their way to attend the Church’s Ministers Conference in Lagos. We insist that their fellow Pastor, Prof Yemi Osibanjo, Vice President, should use his office to negotiate for the release of the kidnapped pastors,” he said.