Outrage, wild condemnations over attack on St Francis Church in Owo

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Pains, agony, gloom and fear, yesterday, descended on the densely populated Owo in Ondo State, as yet to be identified gunmen opened fire on the congregation at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, which was celebrating the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus after his ascension.

The incident occurred in the morning at the church, located on Owaluwa Street, Owo, where suspected bandits launched an attack in a grand commando style, as the mass was almost ended. The invaders shot at the worshippers and ignited dynamites that caved in parts of the building.

An eyewitness said the gunmen, who disguised as worshippers, detonated explosives suspected to be dynamite and later opened fire on members of the church.

One of the priests at the church, Rev. Father Andrew Abayomi, who narrated how the church was attacked, said the gunmen also bombed the church.

Workers of the Federal Medical Centre and Saint Louis Hospital, both in Owo, where the dead and the injured were taken to, told the reporters that a total of 35 people were brought in dead.

Immediately the news of the attack broke out, many notable nigerians started expressing their anger and bitterness over the attack, lamenting the number of people that have been killed.

Among them is Prof. Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy. He said: “My heart goes out to the victims of Ondo who lost their lives today, due to the attack of evil people. We convey our heartfelt condolences, pray to the Almighty Allah to expose the perpetrators, and bring back absolute peace & stability to Nigeria & the whole world.”

Bashir Ahmad lamented: “Whoever they are, they are wicked and enemies of the peaceful and loving people. Thoughts and prayers with good people of Ondo State, especially the victims and their families.”

JJ Omojuwa said: “The terrorist attack in Ondo today is heartbreaking. The Nigerian people are on their own, no sense of safety or security anywhere. No one is safe and no one feels safe. And the political class trudge along like this new normal is acceptable. It is not. Nigerians deserve better.”

Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki reacted: “My prayers are with the families of the worshipers who were killed today during a church service at St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State. Now more than ever, these gruesome killings must end.”

Senator Shehu Sani added: “The deadly attacks on the Ondo Catholic Church is a horrible, barbaric and condemnable act of terror. All Nigerians must be united in denouncing the perpetrators of this heinous infamy. Everything must be done to bring the assailants to book. Enough of this bloodshed.”

Mr Macaroni reacted: “Just reading that St Francis Church in Ondo State has been attacked!! Multiple People have been killed!!! I’m not even sure of the numbers.. saw a part of the video and I couldn’t even watch till the end!!! Is there no longer value for human life in Nigeria ??? Goodness!!!”

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