A Catholic Church on Owaluwa Street in Owo town, Ondo State, southwest Nigeria was hit early on Sunday by gunmen who invaded the place during mass.
The gunmen, who covered their faces with masks, opened direct fire on unsuspecting worshippers at St. Francis Catholic Church, while also dropping dynamites which killed scores and left many injured. A yet to be named priest was reportedly kidnapped by the gunmen.
Though details of the numbers of casualties in the terror attacks cannot be ascertained at the time of filing this report, Timescape Magazine reports that dozens were killed. Eyewitnesses say no fewer than 50 worshippers were killed by the attackers, although this figure could not be officially confirmed.
The worshippers who sustained various degrees of injuries have been rushed to Owo the federal medical centre for treatment.
The state Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu who was in Abuja ahead of the presidential convention of the All-Progressive Congress (APC), which is scheduled to start June 6, issued a statement a few hours after the ugly incident, vowing to bring the perpetrators of the evil act to book.
He had to cut short his stay in Abuja to attend to the situation in his state.
“The vile and satanic attack is a calculated assault on the peace-loving people of the Owo Kingdom who have enjoyed relative peace over the years,” he said, adding that it was a black Sunday in Owo.
He decried the disruption to the peace and tranquillity of the state and added that the politicians and the Church would be working together to provide comfort to the victims.
“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,” he added.
The Governor promised to “commit every available resource to hunt down these assailants and make them pay.”
In a country where reprisals sometimes happen, the Governor urged the population not to take the law into their own hands.
“I have equally been assured that security operatives would be deployed to monitor and restore normalcy to Owo kingdom,” Akeredolu said.