Catholic Diocese confirms no priest was abducted

Bisi ABASS

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday, condemned the heinous killing of worshippers at the St Francis Catholic Church, Owa-luwa Street, Owo Kingdom, in Ondo State.

Terrorists had stormed St. Francis Catholic Church on Sunday and killed scores of worshippers during a mass service.

Buhari, in a statement issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, cursed the the terrorists, saying eternal sorrow awaited them both on earth here, and ultimately in the hereafter.

The President said only fiends from the nether region could have conceived and carried out such dastardly act.

Buhari mourned the dead, condoled with their families, the Catholic Church, and the Government of Ondo State.

He charged emergency agencies to swing into action, and bring succour to the wounded.

“No matter what, this country shall never give in to evil and wicked people, and darkness will never overcome light. Nigeria will eventually win,” the President stated.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Diocese of Ondo has confirmed that no priest was abducted by gunmen who attacked a parish of its church in Owo during service on Sunday, contrary to claims in some posts in the social media.

The Ondo Diocese of Catholic Church said this in a statement by Rev. Fr. Augustine IKWU, its Director, Director Social Communications while speaking on the attack on St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo.

Some reports had indicated that as many as 50 worshippers were killed by the gunmen while many others were injured.

Some reports had also indicated that the gunmen took away some priests from the Church.

But while the church confirmed that the gunmen killed many worshippers and injured many others, it however said none of the Priest or the Bishop in the parish was kidnapped as claimed in the social media posts.

The Church also said the identity of the gunmen who attacked St. Francis Catholic Church was not yet known.

The Ondo State Police Command is yet to  confirm the number of lives lost to the dastardly attack.

Full Statement By The Ondo Diocese of Catholic Church below:

ATTACK ON ST. FRANCIS CATHOLIC CHURCH, OWO, ONDO STATE NIGERIA

It is Pentecost Sunday when every Catholic is expected to be in Church to commemorate the Solemnity. It is so sad to say that while the Holy Mass was going on, unknown Gunmen attacked St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State. Leaving many feared dead and many others injured and the Church violated. The identity of the perpetrators remains unknown while the situation has left the community devastated.

However, for now, security agencies have been deployed to the community to relatively handle the situation. At this point in the history of our dear country Nigeria, we need God’s ultimate intervention to restore peace and tranquillity.

Meanwhile, all the Priests and Bishop in the parish are safe and non was kidnapped as the social media has it. Nonetheless, let us continue to pray for them and the good people of Owo and the state at large.

We turn to God to console the families of those whose lives were lost to this distressing incident, and we pray for the departed souls to rest in peace. Amen.

The Bishop appeals that we remain calm, be law abiding and pray for peace and normalcy to return to our community, state and country.

Signed

Rev. Fr. Augustine IKWU
Director, Social Communications
June 5, 2022

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