Suspected terrorists have attacked St Francis Catholic Church in Owo in the headquarters of Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State.
Many worshippers have died and several others were wounded following the explosion at the church, which is near to the palace of the Olowo of Owo.
Eye witnesses said that the terrorists were throwing “bombs and shooting” at the same time.
Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu described it as vile and satanic attack, noting that it is a calculated assault on the peace-loving people of Owo Kingdom who have enjoyed relative peace over the years.
He expressed deep sadness over what he calls an unprovoked attack and killing of innocent people of Owo, worshiping at the St Francis Catholic Church, Owa-luwa Street.
“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.
“This is an unexpected development. I am shocked to say the least. Nevertheless, We shall commit every available resource to hunt down these assailants and make them pay. We shall never bow to the machinations of heartless elements in our resolves to rid our state of criminals.
“I commiserate with my people in Owo, particularly families of the those who lost their lives to this ugly and unfortunate attack. I extend my condolences to Olowo of Owo, Oba Gbadegesin Ogunoye as well as the Catholic Church,” Akeredolu stated.
The governor however asked not to take laws into your hands, but remain vigilant and calm.
He added that he has spoken with the security agencies and that security operatives would be deployed to monitor and restore normalcy in the area.
The state’s Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, DSP Odunlami Ibukun has confirmed the incident.
The PPRO said details of the casualty would be communicated in a statement shortly.
She said, “we are currently at the scene of the incident to access damages made. It is not like what have been trending on social media. We will soon issue statement to give you details of what happened.”