Cardinal John Onaiyekan of the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, in Nigeria was reported to have been attacked by by unknown gunmen men on the evening of Friday, April 29th, along the Benin-Ekpoma road in Edo State, where he was shot at severally.
The Cardinal was said to be returning from Benin after attending the ten (10) years anniversary of of the enthronement of the Bishop Augustine Akubueze, the Catholic Archbishop of Benin City, when the incident happened.
Segun, Cardinal Onaiyekan’s driver narrated the incident to a local media (Daily Trust) saying:
“We left Benin for Uromi and at about 5.00pm 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, three men came out of the palm tree plantation by the road side and started shooting at the vehicle. I looked ahead of me and saw that 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. Drivers of 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 and people started running towards us 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 that nothing happened to the cardinal or any of us in the vehicle”.
“We thank God that Cardinal Onaiyekan survived the attacks by some criminal elements last week on the Benin-Ekpoma road. If something had happened to him, what would have been the story? We thank God nothing happened and we are using this opportunity to appeal to the president to provide adequate security to the people of Edo State,” “What we are asking for is not too much. If there is no security of lives and property, no investment 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,” said Bishop Akubueze, the Catholic Archbishop of Benin City.