Officials in the Diocese of Ondo on Tuesday said 38 people had been confirmed dead in Sunday’s terrorist attack on St. Louis. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State.
The diocesan bishop, Jude Arogundade, revealed this in an interview with The PUNCH.
Gunmen on Sunday attacked a church on Owa-Luwa Street in Owo, the hometown of State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, leaving several believers dead and several others injured.
But Arogundade said the diocese was able to account for 38 victims.
However, he said some families picked up the bodies of their loved ones and that could be counted by the diocese.
He said, “People have been asking me about the death toll. The number we can currently count is 38.
“But we know that many people have been rushed to private hospitals. Other people came to collect the bodies of their loved ones. We are trying to trace those people so we can recount everyone.
“But in a Catholic hospital, which is St. Louis Hospital in Owo, and Federal Medical Center in Owo, we have 38 bodies. ”
Meanwhile, a Solezwe source told The PUNCH newspaper that the Diocese may consider burying more people in the massacre as some of the bodies have not been identified and wanted by their relatives since the incident.
The source, however, said a final decision had not yet been reached on this day and other funeral arrangements.
He said, “There are plans to bury more people who died in Sunday’s attack. The decision was made because of the nature of their deaths. So we should bury them instead of staying too long in the cold.
“Those who will not be buried in large numbers are those whose bodies have not been identified. Certainly, once the necessary arrangements have been made, the church will let the public know when the funeral will be held. ”
Meanwhile, Akeredolu said less than 22 people were killed in the attack.
He said the attack affected 80 of the 22 people who lost their lives, while 56 survivors were admitted to Federal Medical Center, Owo, St Louis Hospital, Owo and Owo General Hospital and other private hospitals.
Akeredolu made the remarks on Tuesday as he broadcast nationwide to the people of the province.
He said, “The number of people involved was 80. Currently, 56 people are hospitalized, two have been released, and the death toll is 22. Efforts have been made to prevent further victims.
“The place, that is, the Catholic Church of St. Francis, Owaluwa, Owo depicts a horrific war-like incident. Federal Medical Center, Owo, St. Louis Hospital, Owo, General Hospital, Owo and other private hospitals in Owo are full of the injured, many of whom are in critical condition.
“The saddest thing is that the lives of innocent children have been cut down at a very young age and some of them have been severely injured by senseless attackers. For Owo, anger was audible. Tensions were high as the desire for revenge was high. Without a doubt again, the negative impact of this heinous act as well as the understandably offensive response across the region could not be different.
“I urge our people to remain calm but to remain vigilant. Do not take the law into your own hands. Let the government hold hands. ” Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has said it will support the national government with emergency services to help it recover from the terrorist attacks.
WHO Country Representative and Head of Mission, Nigeria, Dr Walter Mulombo, said this while leading his team to visit Akeredolu.
“The World Health Organization is committed to supporting your country in responding to all emergencies and emergencies, including in the event of a disaster,” he said.
The UN wants the perpetrators arrested
Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has condemned the attack.
He urged the authorities to do everything possible to convict the perpetrators.
According to a statement from Secretary-General Stéphane Dujarric, on Tuesday, Guterres emphasized that the attack on places of worship was shameful.
The statement read, “The Secretary-General strongly condemns the attack on the Catholic Church. service.
“The Secretary-General emphasizes that attacks on places of worship are disgusting. He urges the Nigerian authorities not to make an effort to bring the perpetrators to justice. ”
C&S Church condemns genocide
Also, Cherubim and Seraphim Unification Church of Nigeria have condemned the attack.
A statement from The PUNCH on Tuesday quoted the church’s head, Dr. Solomon Alao, who claims that the persecution of Christians, which has continued in the northern part of the country, has spread to the South.
Alao, therefore, called on the State Government to move swiftly to prevent religious war in the country.
He asserted that the attack was a pretext to intimidate Christians away from the churches and to destroy faithful Christians in Nigeria.
He said, “We hope that this case will not be treated like the many murders that took place in Benue State and other Christian high places in the North.
“We will continue to prosecute the State Government until it arrests and prosecutes criminals in court.
“We have said many times that the so-called criminals and Boko Haram are being treated with child gloves and this is the time we have decided to deal with them if the government still wants the country to remain united.”
The Coalition of more than 500 women’s organizations under the Womanifesto on Tuesday unveiled a five-point proposal for the government to take action against the Nigerian genocide.
The women, who were fearful of the attack on Owo, have given the government until July 5, 2022 to do something.