On Sunday, at least 50 people were gunned down in the St Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Nigeria. However, the story hasn’t garnered nearly as much attention as the mass shooting in Uvalde, in the US state of Texas, in which 21 people were killed.
The parishioners at the Pentecost Sunday mass were gunned down by four men, Al Jazeera reported. The motive for the attack is still unknown because of what has been deemed “an intelligence failure”, with no organisation claiming responsibility for the incident.
Owo is about 345km east of Lagos, in Ondo State, which is considered to be one of the safest states in Nigeria. Most deaths by armed groups happen in the north of the country, meaning the Owo attack is somewhat of an outlier.
Locals are attributing the attack to pastoralist herdsmen, who have been involved in armed conflicts with farmers around the country over diminishing vegetation and ethnic and religious disputes – something that has been a problem in Ondo.
However, others are speculating that the attack may have been carried out by the Islamic State West Africa Province.
Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country, the biggest economy on the continent and the top crude producer in Africa. Yet an official death count has not even been confirmed.
So why has this mass shooting gone under the radar? Why have there been no fact-finding missions and why have Western, developed nations not aided in efforts to gather intelligence?
Nigeria’s general elections are set to take place in February next year, and security concerns will be at the top of voters’ lists of priorities, but none of the presidential candidates has addressed the topic so far 😕. That’s why we’re covering this topic in this edition: playing our small role in providing fair coverage of all important news events around the world.