One of the priests at St Francis Catholic Church, Owa-luwa Street, Owo, Ondo State, Father Andrew Abayomi, has given an account of how the church was attacked.
Abayomi who spoke during an interview with BBC Yoruba, said suspected terrorists struck as the church service was wrapping up.
His words: “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.”
“We hide 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.”
The state’s governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, in a tweet reacted to the incident that happened in his hometown.
He described the attack as “vile and satanic”, saying it was 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 those who lost dear 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.