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Gunmen Kill Over 50 Worshippers In Catholic Church At Owo - Full Details

More details have emerged on the attack at the St Francis Catholic Church, Owo on Sunday, which left many people killed.

Owo is the hometown of the Governor of the State, Rotimi Akeredolu.

It was learnt that the incident happened immediately after the church ended its mass service.

According to eyewitnesses, the assailants attacked the church with guns and dynamite.

One of them noted that the attackers gained entry into the church through the fence and gate of the worship centre.

One of the eyewitnesses, who is a Reverend Father, Andrew Abayomi, said many worshippers were killed despite the security measures taken by the church.

“We were about to finish service. Immediately we asked people to leave, we began to hear the sound of gunshots and dynamite from different angles. We immediately asked people to run back inside the church and shut the door.
“We hide inside the church but some people had left when the attack happened. We locked ourselves in the church for about 20 minutes. When we heard that they had left, we opened the church and rushed victims to the hospital.”

A youth who witnessed the incident said an Ice Cream seller was the first victim of the attacker.

He explained that the attackers gained access to the church with dynamite but shot the worshippers with guns.

He said, “I heard the sound of gunshots. They (the attackers) first shot the Ice Cream seller. They later went into the church and started shooting. They used the dynamite to gain entrance into the church.

“It happened immediately the Father announced that ‘worship has ended, go home in peace’. No one was kidnapped. I drove the Father to hospital and brought him back.”

A resident of the area explained that the attackers laid an ambush for the worshippers.

He said, “It happened in the broad daylight. Is it a crime to go and worship God? Look at both the old and the young that have been killed. If it is because of the 2023 elections, they should tell us what they want.

When asked the number of the attackers, he said, “Who dares to count under heavy gunshots? They came in through the fence and gate. They laid an ambush and penetrated. They shot guns and used dynamite to enter.”

We were still evacuating corpses -Secretary Owo LG, Taye Adako

The Secretary of Owo Local Government, Taye Adako, said corpses were still being evacuated hours after the attack happened.

“We want the governor to see this as a personal attack. As youths, we are being forced to defend ourselves.

“Police came and started shooting after hours the incident happened. The police and civilians have to combat this together.

“The church was attacked but worshippers of both religions must stand up and fight this together. From what I heard, they said the attackers are Fulani. I saw more than 20 corpses when I came here and others have been taken away before I came.”

“I met many corpses here and we are still evacuating. It is something that saddens us. What we saw this morning is painful.

“Government won’t watch this happen like that. Many people have been killed. We have been evacuating corpses. Security operatives are here already. We appeal to people to be patient. Government is on top of the situation.

We have never seen something like this before. They just attacked the church with guns and dynamite. Innocent lives are being killed, We will ensure justice.”

It’s an attack on Akeredolu – Youth leader
Chairman of the National Youths Council, Ondo State Chapter, Mattew Adewale, described the incident as a personal attack on the governor of the state.

He explained that this was the first time such an incident would occur in the area.

Adewale said, “This is my hometown. This is a slap on us. We have never seen this before in owo, a town where we have a king and a serving governor.

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