Owo terror attack: Death toll hits 80 as Catholic Church begs for more blood donation

Owo terror attack: Death toll hits 80 as Catholic Church begs for more blood donation
TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
The Director of Social Communications, Catholic Diocese of Ondo, Rev Fr Augustine Ikwu has disclosed that nothing less than 80 parishioners of St Francis Catholic Church, Owa-luwa Street, Owo, Ondo State have been confirmed dead while countless of others were still under Intensive Care Unit in hospitals.
 
Speaking on Frank Talk programme monitored by our correspondent on Rave FM Osogbo on Monday morning, Ikwu said shortage of blood for injured victims is the challenge confronting the Church presently and urged Nigerians in and around Owo, to visit St Louis Catholic Hospital and Federal Medical Centre, both in Owo to donate blood for victims who are under critical conditions.
 
He thanked those who had already donated blood and called for more. He said over 80 persons already confirmed dead as at Sunday night and that the morgue of the Catholic Hospital could not accommodate more corpses.
 
The priest said there was no proof already to specifically say the tribes or identities of the gunmen that attacked the Church adding that majority of those shot are youths and children.
 
While noting that the Church was filled to capacity owing to the Pentecost Sunday celebration, Ikwu said the government was not doing enough to tackle insecurity in the land. He commended the Governor of the state, Rotimi Akeredolu for identifying with the victims immediately.
Narrating how the tragic shooting happened, he said, “the incident happened yesterday. Yesterday is the Pentecost Sunday and customarily, every Catholic would attend Mass and commemorate the day, just like every Catholic should attend Mass everyday, but, of course, yesterday’s Sunday is a peculiar one because it marked tye outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It’s a very significant day in the life of the Church.
“Normally, on days like this, you have so many persons who would rush to attend Mass and unfortunately, the priest who celebrated the Mass was about to end the Mass, all of a sudden, they started hearing gunshots and the children section which other Churches would call the Sunday school were outside the church and every other person was inside the church. The moment they started hearing gunshots, they locked the Church just to be safe, but then, this gunmen were able to shoot sporadically through the windows and a few of them were able to make their ways through the choir section into the Church and the shooting affected majorly the youths, living so many dead. So many. And so many injured.
“From yesterday till now, it has been a devastating situation and from my correspondence this morning, I spoke with them and have been able to gather that as we speak now, as at last night, not less than 80 persons were already confirmed dead. Our morgue at the Catholic hospital, St Louis Hospital, Owo is already full, cannot take any other person again, and so, we have to defer to Federal Medical Centre, Owo.
Owo massacre
A mother with her child
“There was no case of kidnapping of any priests or parishioners at all. The aim of these people was to just come and kill. Which they did. We are in a messes country. Our security is already compromised, and our government is not doing enough. Even though I must personally commend the swift response of the Ondo State Governor yesterday, because immediately the incident started, military men and other security agencies were deployed to the scene and to the community.
“For now, we can’t really say this is the cause until we have proofs. The bishop has been so down, he has been completely broken and shattered. It wasn’t easy being at the scene of where more than 80 of your members were killed.
“I must sincerely appreciate the young ones who came around to donate blood. Some of our priests had to leave their parish to the hospital to donate blood. I want to use this opportunity to sincerely veg that everyone around should go to the hospitals, St Louis Catholic Church and FMC, Owo. There are people to attend to you there.
Shortage of blood is what we are battling with now. I can’t give the figure of those who were injured now.”
Owo massacre
Victims
Meanwhile, Governor Akeredolu has directed all public buildings, facilities and official residences to fly the Nigerian flag at half-mast for seven days in honour of the victims of the Owo terror attack on Sunday.
Governor Akeredolu said the attack on innocent worshipers was a deliberate and calculated assault on the people of the state.
The governor in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde on Monday, said, ”Those who unleashed this unprovoked terror attack on our people have tested our collective resolves. We will not be deterred in responding appropriately to this dastardly act.
“In honour of the victims of this unfortunate attack, i hereby direct that all flags be flown at half-mast for seven days, starting from today, Monday, June 6, to Sunday, June 12, 2022. It is a collective loss to the people of our dear state.”

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One thought on “Owo terror attack: Death toll hits 80 as Catholic Church begs for more blood donation

  1. May their souls and the departed souls rest in peace .and may eternal rest grant on to them and let perpetual light shine upon them Amen.

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