Gunmen on Sunday attacked St Francis Catholic Church in Owo, the headquarters of Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State.
Emerging reports suggest that many worshippers have died and several others have been left injured following the attack on the church which is situated close to the palace of the Olowo of Owo.
As of the time of filing this report, the security operatives were yet to give a detailed statement regarding the development.
However, Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has expressed deep sadness over what he calls an unprovoked attack and killing of innocent people of Owo, worshipping at the St Francis Catholic Church, Owa-luwa Street.
Owo is the hometown of the governor who has been championing the formation of regional security outfit, Amotekun, and anti-open grazing laws.
In his reaction to the tragic event, Akeredolu said 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.
“It is a black Sunday in Owo. Our hearts are heavy. Our peace and tranquility have been attacked by the enemies of the people. This is a personal loss, an attack on our dear state.
“I have spoken to the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ondo, Most Reverend Jude Arogundade, who is presently on his way to Owo. Similarly, I have had to cut short my party’s national assignment in Abuja and visit Owo immediately.
“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.
“I commiserate with my people in Owo, particularly families of the those who lost their lives to this ugly and unfortunate attack. I extend my condolences to Olowo of Owo, Oba Gbadegesin Ogunoye as well as the Catholic Church,” Akeredolu stated.
The governor urged the people to remain calm and vigilant. Do not take laws into your hands, adding that he has spoken to the heads of the security agencies.
Akeredolu further stated that he has equally been assured that security operatives would be deployed to monitor and restore normalcy to Owo kingdom.