It was a black Sunday in Owo, Ondo State, as killer herdsmen invaded a Catholic Parish killing over 28 persons and leaving dozens seriously wounded.
The attackers entered St Francis Xavier Catholic Church as service got underway on Sunday morning at the main community parish, an official said, firing live rounds on congregants before detonating explosives already planted in the church.
The attackers were identified by locals as being members of the ethnic Fulani stock, and a lawmaker said the tragic incident was orchestrated to send a message to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
“Fulani herdsmen entered our community and started shooting, they killed about 28 people and dozens were severely injured,” Olayemi Adeyemi, a member of Ondo House of Assembly representing the constituency, told Peoples Gazette.
The church is near the palace of the traditional ruler of Owo, Inforistic understands, and emergency officials were swiftly mobilised to the area.
“We have dozens of injured people at Federal Medical Centre, Owo, and I am on my way there now to see the victims,” Mr Adeyemi said, adding that he had just left the church premises.
Video of the attack shared online showed bodies believed to be of church members in a stream of blood.
The attack was immediately seen as a message to Mr Akeredolu, a son of Owo whose policies have been deemed highly restrictive of herdsmen activities around Ondo.
“We have enjoyed improved security since herdsmen were driven away from our forests by this administration,” Mr Adeyemi said. “This is a reprisal attack to send a diabolical message to the governor.”
A spokesman for the governor did not immediately return a request seeking comments.
The report reaching us at Inforistic, says that the police and other security forces have arrived at the scene and intensified security around the church and the community.
Below is a sneak peek of the occurrence in St Francis Catholic Church Owo. Viewer’s discretion is advised.
More to Follow….