A Priest at the St Francis Catholic Church in Owa-Iuwa Street, Owo, Ondo State, where scores were killed today has reacted to the incident.
Naija News had reported earlier that residents of Ondo were sorrowful on Sunday after seeing their beloved in the pool of their blood following an alleged explosion at the St Francis Catholic Church, Owa-Iuwa Street, in the Owo Local Government Area of the state.
Reports had emerged earlier that explosion rocked the worship centre and killed an uncertain number of people while leaving many badly injured.
An eyewitness Kehinde Ogunkorode who spoke with Daily Post earlier revealed that the incident caused chaos in the vicinity. In some reports, it was gathered that the worshippers were shot at by the assailants.
Narrating the horror incident, however, Rev Father Andrew Abayomi, who happens to be one of the Priests in the Church, said the gunmen stormed the church premises when the day’s service was about to end.
“We were about to round off service. I had even asked people to start leaving, that was how we started hearing gunshots from different angles,”
The cleric told BBC Yoruba during an interview.
He added: “We hid inside the church but some people had left when the attack happened. We locked ourselves in the church for 20 minutes. When we heard that they had left, we opened the church and rushed victims to the hospital.”
Meanwhile, the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu has reacted to the sad development, describing it as unfortunate and satanic.
Akeredoly said the attack was a calculated assault on the peace-loving people of the Owo Kingdom who have enjoyed relative peace over the years.
The Governor’s statement released via his Twitter handle reads further: “It is a black Sunday in Owo. Our hearts are heavy. Our peace and tranquillity 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.