Ondo: How Terrorists Attacked Us, Opened Fire From Different Directions - Catholic Priest - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Sunday, June 5, 2022

Ondo: How Terrorists Attacked Us, Opened Fire From Different Directions - Catholic Priest

The Daily Crucible |Monday, Jun 6, 2022

A priest who witnessed the terrorists bomb and gun attacks worshippers at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owa-luwa Street, Owo, Ondo State, on Sunday, Rev Father Andrew Abayomi, has narrated how it happened.

Fr. Abayomi told BBC Yoruba, the cleric said  the terrorists attacked them as the day’s service was coming to a close, adding that survivors hid inside the church for 20 minutes while the carnage lasted.

The priest said, “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 hid 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.”

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has condemned the attack, describing it as “vile and satanic”, and a calculated assault on the peace-loving people of the Owo Kingdom who had enjoyed relative peace over the years.

Narrating further, he said, “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.”

Also the Ondo State Police Command gave insight into the terrorists attacked the Catholic Church.

A statement by the Command, on Sunday, signed by the Police Public Relations Officer, Funmilayo Odunlami, said the attack was launched by the gunmen at about 11:30 a.m., while the church service was ongoing.

“Some armed men invaded the church and attacked members of the church, where some lives were lost and some sustained varying degrees of injuries,” the statement said.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that the assailants approached the church during the service, started shooting from outside the church while others numbering about four shot directly into the church.”

The statement noted that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Oyeyemi Oyediran, had ordered the deployment of armed and specialised policemen to restore normalcy and fortify the entire community.

“Meanwhile, the CP has equally ordered Forensic Investigation into the attack to ascertain the actual or remote cause(s) of the attack and for immediate arrest of the assailants as all hands are on deck to forestall any similar attack in any part of the state,” the statement said.

The Commissioner of Police also commiserated with the Church, family of the deceased, the People of Owo and the Ondo State Government.

The police, were, however, silent on the number of mortality and the injured.

It earlier said it had deployed the Anti-Bomb Squad of the police to the area to provide further security, urging residents to be calm.

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