Dozens Dead After Church Shooting in Nigeria
Nigeria has witnessed yet another death toll at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State. This heinous attack was carried out by unknown gunmen who stormed the church and opened fire on innocent worshippers at a Pentecost Service on Sunday, June 5th.
The Catholic Diocese of Ondo has verified that at least 38 people were killed in the attack at St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State, on Sunday with a total of 88 victims as of the reporting.
In an interview with the news agency PUNCH, the Diocesan Bishop, Jude Arogundade said, “People have been asking me about the number of those who died. For the time being, we can only account for 38 bodies in the Catholic hospital, St. Louis Hospital in Owo, and the Federal Medical Center in Owo.”
In the interview, he also revealed how difficult it is to find all the victims for a proper count. “We are aware that many victims were transported to private hospitals. Some others even came to claim their loved ones’ bodies. We’re attempting to locate those individuals so that we may do a full recount.”
Nigerians, including President Muhammadu Buhari and numerous state governors, have condemned this attack that has plunged the country into sadness.
The State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who hails from Owa has condemned the attack on his home town which has left many parishioners dead and several others injured. He said, “Survivors from the attack [have been admitted to] the Federal Medical Center, St Louis Hospital, and the Owo General Hospital, as well as some other private hospitals.”
Dr. Walter Mulombo, World Health Organization Country Representative and Head of Mission in Nigeria, has led a delegation to pay their respects to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu in Akure, the state capital.
During the visit, he said, “The World Health Organization (WHO) has vowed to provide essential support to the Ondo State government to assist it in recovering from the effects of Sunday’s terror assault at St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State.”
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He continued, “The WHO has provided emergency trauma kits and other support equipment to the state, as well as emergency medical staff.”
Antonio Guterres, the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, has also condemned the savage attack on the Catholic church, which left many people dead and some injured.
In a statement released by his spokesperson, Guterres condemned the attack at St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State, on a Sunday when people had gathered to celebrate Pentecost, an important date in the Christian calendar.
Guterres has asked Nigerian authorities to make every effort to prosecute those involved.
His Holiness, Pope Francis, through the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, has conveyed his sincere sadness over the horrific attack on Sunday at St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State, which killed innocent people. He has assured worshippers of his spiritual closeness and support.
The pain that comes with this unfortunate event will forever live in the hearts of many people who have lost their fathers, mothers, children, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, friends, and relatives in this attack.
This isn’t the first organized crime happening in the country. Every part of the country is terrorized, and this has placed people in pain, panic, and fear. There is a solemn call on the government to intervene and abate this surge of insecurity in the country and restore the peace in Nigeria.