NIGERIA. Ondo State: It was a dark Sunday in Owo, as a group of men suspected of being shooters attacked St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State in southwestern Nigeria, killing about 50 worshipers and injuring dozens more.
The governor of the state, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, condemned the attack and promised that those responsible would face the full force of the law.
According to Akeredolu, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde, the state government will employ all available means to prevent criminal elements from gaining a foothold in the state.
The unprovoked attack and killing of Owo worshipers have severely grieved Akeredolu, who views the incident as diabolical, barbarous, and calculated by the state’s enemies.
“This is an unexpected development. I am shocked. 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”, the statement read.
As a result, Akeredolu expressed his condolences to the victims’ families and prayed for the souls of the deceased to rest in peace.
Buhari assured the victims of government’s intervention
President Mohammadu Buhari reacted angrily to the tragedy, calling it “evil and terrible” to slaughter innocent worshippers. He stated that those who carried out the murders will face eternal misery both on earth and in the afterlife.
Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, claimed that the country is going through a difficult time and that the government should not allow wicked and cruel people to seize control of the country through their acts.
Buhari expressed his sorrow for the victims’ deaths and his condolences to their families, the Catholic Church, and the Ondo State government, while also directing emergency agencies to respond quickly and provide aid to the injured.
Christian Association of Nigeria condemned the attack and described it as “wicked and barabric”.
Chairman of CAN in Ondo state, Anselm Ologunwa, has described the killing of worshippers at Owo as barbaric and wicked. “The killing of some innocent souls in the name of whichever guise is the highest criminality, everybody should rise and condemn in our society,” the statement said.
Ologunwa, on the other hand, urged the administration to solve the country’s security issues.
With the recent kidnapping of the Methodist Church’s Prelate and two others on the road, the train attack, and now within the church of God, there is no place in Nigeria that is safe.
As a result, Ologunwo urged the state government to provide resources for security personnel to go after the perpetrators of the act as soon as possible and bring them to justice.
According to Transcontinental Times, the killers were four, and they arrived at the church premises a few minutes before the closing hours.