Terrorists massacred dozens of Christian churchgoers in Nigeria on Sunday prompting a top leader in the country to promise that every resource at the country’s disposal would be used to track down those responsible and bring them to justice.
The terrorists rode up on motorcycles and began shooting those who showed up for mass at St Francis Catholic Church in the town of Owo. Explosives were also reportedly used.
“A doctor at a hospital in Owo told Reuters that at least 50 bodies had been brought in to two hospitals in the town from the attack,” Reuters reported. “The doctor, who declined to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the press, also said there was a need for blood donations to treat the injured.”
Guns are strictly regulated in Nigeria as citizens have “no legal right to gun ownership” and “civilians are banned from owning handguns, military rifles or machine guns,” AFP reported. “Licenses can be obtained from the police for double-barrel shotguns and hunting guns, but permission for this has been suspended because of the security situation.”
CNN noted that such attacks are rare in the area but are more common in northern part of country where Islamic terrorists who belong to Boko Haram carry out such attacks. Knife-wielding Islamic terrorists belonging to ISIS executed 20 Christians in Nigeria last month.
“I am deeply saddened by the unprovoked attack and killing of innocent people of Owo, worshiping at the St. Francis Catholic Church, Today,” Arakunrin Akeredolu, who is the governor of Ondo State in Nigeria, wrote on Twitter. “The vile & satanic attack is a calculated assault on the peace-loving people of Owo Kingdom who have enjoyed relative peace over the years.”
I am deeply saddened by the unprovoked attack and killing of innocent people of Owo, worshiping at the St. Francis Catholic Church, Today.
The vile & satanic attack is a calculated assault on the peace-loving people of Owo Kingdom who have enjoyed relative peace over the years. pic.twitter.com/30fMbfnOxc
— Arakunrin Akeredolu (@RotimiAkeredolu) June 5, 2022
“It is a black Sunday in Owo. Our hearts are heavy,” he continued. “Our peace and tranquility have been attacked by the enemies of the people. This is a personal loss, an attack on our dear state.”
Akeredolu said that he has spoken with the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ondo, Most Reverend Jude Arogundade, and that the church official was on his way to the scene along with Akeredolu, who had to cut short a work trip to return to the area.
“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,” he continued. “I urge our people to remain calm and vigilant. Do not take laws into your hands. I have spoken to the heads of the security agencies. I have equally been assured that security operatives would be deployed to monitor and restore normalcy to Owo kingdom.”