Gunmen Attack Worshippers In Ondo, Akeredolu Mourns

Some gunmen on Sunday morning attacked St. Francis  Catholic Church in Owo, headquarters of Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State, killing over 50 members of the congregation, during the church service.

It was gathered that no fewer than 50 corpses have been moved out of the church with many casualties lying at the Federal Medical Center, Owo, for medical attention, Tribune reports.

According to a source, who explained that some gunmen invaded the church during service, and opened fire on the members of the church, killing no fewer than 50 people.

He explained that the congregation were caught unaware saying the casualty might be more as some worshippers who were taken to the hospital had given up.

He added that the gunmen also used some explosives within the compound of the church but said most of the people were hit with gunshots.

The perpetrators were said to have fled the scene immediately after they carried out the killing, leaving many people dead.

Some dead bodies were seen soaked with blood in the church in a video obtained by Tribune Online.

A nurse at Owo who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity said not enough medical personnel on the ground and on duty to attend to the casualties at the emergency unit of the hospital while some of the casualties have been taken to private hospitals.

Meaneople living around Federal Medical Centre, Owo have been urged to rush to the hospital to donate blood to victims of the gunmen attack on St Francis  Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State early Sunday.

This is as Nigerians have continued to condemn the attack on Twitter with the state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu expressing sadness over the situation.

Some of the messages on Twitter read: “If you can donate blood, please you’re needed in Federal Medical Centre Owo, Ondo State.  Doesn’t matter what your blood group is. If you’re close… please give the gift of life. Please RT this.”

Similarly, others said donors are needed at the General Hospital, Owo.

The governor described the attack as a calculated assault on the people. He also vowed to hunt down the masterminds of the assault.

In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde shortly after the attack which killed many, the governor said, “It is a black Sunday in Owo. Our hearts are heavy. Our peace and tranquility have been attacked by the enemies of the people. This is a personal loss, an attack on our dear state.”

“I have spoken to the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ondo, Most Reverend Jude Arogundade, who is presently on his way to Owo. Similarly, I have had to cut short my party’s national assignment in Abuja and visit Owo immediately.”

Read the full statement below:

PRESS STATEMENT.

Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, is deeply saddened by the unprovoked attack and killing of innocent people of Owo, worshiping at the St Francis Catholic Church, Owa-luwa Street, on Sunday.

The vile and satanic attack is a calculated assault on the peace-loving people of Owo Kingdom who have enjoyed relative peace over the years.

“It is a black Sunday in Owo. Our hearts are heavy. Our peace and tranquility have been attacked by the enemies of the people. This is a personal loss, an attack on our dear state.

“I have spoken to the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ondo, Most Reverend Jude Arogundade, who is presently on his way to Owo. Similarly, I have had to cut short my party’s national assignment in Abuja and visit Owo immediately.

“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 resolves to rid our state of criminals.

“I commiserate with my people in Owo, particularly families of the those who lost their lives to this ugly and unfortunate attack. I extend my condolences to Olowo of Owo, Oba Gbadegesin Ogunoye as well as the Catholic Church.

“I urge our people to remain calm and vigilant. Do not take laws into your hands. I have spoken to the heads of the security agencies. I have equally been assured that security operatives would be deployed to monitor and restore normalcy to Owo kingdom.” Akeredolu said.

Signed:
Richard Olatunde
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Ondo State.
June 5, 2022.

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