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Catholic Church, Ondo Gov’t, Others React As Eyewitnesses Give Account Of Horrific Killings In Owo

Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, who had visited the scene of the incident, said he was sad about the unprovoked attack and killing of innocent people.

Some persons who witnessed the terrorist attacks on St Francis Catholic Church, Owa-luwa Street, in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State, Southwest Nigeria, have given an account of the horrific killings on the morning of Sunday, June 5. 

HumAngle earlier reported that terrorists killed a yet to be ascertained number of persons during a morning mass. 

Several videos on social media showed victims lying on the church floor in a pool of their blood.

Many others sustained severe injuries and are currently receiving treatment at Federal Medical Centre in Owo. 


Though Police have confirmed the incident but have yet to give a detailed account. 

An eyewitness Ogueze Victor who spoke to journalists at the scene of the incident, said the terrorists were throwing “bombs and shooting” when they invaded the church.  

“I was in the church when they came en masse, and people started running. They shot at people running away after they came through different entrances of the church.  They shot some people in their legs and some in the chest,” Victor recounted.

He added that about 25 persons were taken to the hospital while over people were feared dead.

There are children among the church members killed.

“They made use of IEDs when they attacked the church. They shot at many people within the premises. My cousin was shot in the leg during the attack. She has been rushed to the hospital,” a member of the church, who asked not to be named, was quoted by FIJ. 

Reactions

The Catholic Diocese of Ondo said that the identity of the perpetrators remains unknown, adding that the incident has left the community devasted.

“For now, security agencies have been deployed to the community to relatively handle the situation,” the church said in a statement by Rev. Fr. Augustine Ikwu, Director of Social Communications.

“At this point in the history of our dear country Nigeria, we need God’s ultimate intervention to restore peace and tranquillity.” 

The church clarified that all the Priests and Bishops in the parish were safe, and none was kidnapped, as the social media has it. 

“We turn to God to console the families of those whose lives were lost to this distressing incident, and we pray for the departed souls to rest in peace.”

Meanwhile, Rotimi Akeredolu, the Governor of Ondo State who had visited the scene of the incident, said he was sad about the unprovoked attack and killing of innocent people. 

“The vile & satanic attack is a calculated assault on the peace-loving people of the Owo Kingdom who have enjoyed relative peace over the years. It is a black Sunday in Owo. Our hearts are heavy,” Akeredolu said.

“Our peace and tranquillity have been attacked by the people’s enemies. This is a personal loss, an attack on our dear state.”

“This is an unexpected development. I am shocked, to say the least. Nevertheless, We shall commit every available resource to hunt down these assailants and make them pay. We shall never bow to the machinations of heartless elements in our resolve  to rid our state of criminals.”


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Adejumo Kabir

Adejumo Kabir is a multiple award-winning investigative journalist. He loves community journalism and supports all public enlightenment. He currently works as Assistant Investigations Editor at HumAngle. He tweets via @AdejumoKabir2

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