Dozens Killed in Nigerian Catholic Church Mass Shooting – Deemed ‘Satanic’

The Veracity Report

Over 50 parishioners were shot during Mass, including women and children, in Southwest Nigeria, Sunday

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A view of St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo state, Nigeria on June 5, 2022 following the attack- Photo by Rahaman A Yusuf/AP

The massive carnage happened at St. Francis Catholic Church which is located in the town of Owo, in Ondo State-- about 200 miles southwest of Abuja, the capital of Nigeria.

At about 11:30 AM Owo time, a group of unknown gunmen infiltrated the church during the Pentecost Sunday Mass. According to Funmilayo Ibukun Odunlami, a spokesperson for the Nigerian Police Force’s Command in Ondo state. approximately four of the assailants commenced firing inside the building while several others shot wantonly at worshipers desperately trying to flee the church.

“Some lives were lost and some sustained varying degrees of injuries,” Odunlami said in a statement on Sunday.

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Relatives of churchgoers who were attacked by gunmen during Sunday's church service gather as health workers attend to victims- Photo by Reuters

Healthcare workers at the Federal Medical Center in Owo, where victims of the heinous shooting were taken, told ABC News on Monday that at least 35 bodies had been recovered from the church property and received by the hospital. They also added that there was an urgent need for blood donations to help the many wounded who are still receiving treatment at the hospital.

On Monday, The Catholic Laity Council of Nigeria released a statement putting the body count at over 50 parishioners. They also added that they believed the ‘suspected gunmen were bandits.”

While the attack remains under investigation, specialized police forces have been called into service and stationed in Owo in an attempt to “…retore normalcy and to fortify the entire community,” Odunlami said.

No motive for the massacre or the identities of the gunmen responsible for it is yet known. That’s partly because no group has taken responsibility for the attack.

Rev. Fr. Andrew Abayomi, one of the priests at the church, said that they were at the end of the Mass and parishioners were getting ready to leave when the assault commenced. “We hid inside the church, but some people had left when the attack happened,” Abayomi told reporters in Owo on Sunday. “We locked ourselves in the church for twenty minutes. When we heard that they had left, we opened the church and rushed victims to the hospital.”

According to Richard Olatunde, spokesman for The Governor of Ondo state, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, said that the Governor visited the scene as well as some of the victims slowly recover in the hospital. Olatunde said that the Governor was “deeply saddened by the unprovoked attack and killing of the innocent people of Owo.”

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Security men guard Ondo state Governor Rotimi Akeredolu at St Francis Catholic Church in Owo- Photo by Reuters

Olatunde went on to say, “The vile and satanic attack is a calculated assault on the peace-loving people of Owo Kingdom who have enjoyed relative peace over the years. We shall commit every available resource to hunt down these assailants and make them pay.”

The President of Nigeria, Muhammmadu Buhari, condemned what he described as “the heinous killing of worshipers. No matter what,” the president went on to say, “ this country shall never give in to evil and wicked people, and darkness will never overcome light.”

Kurt Dillon reporting – Because the Truth Matters!

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