The victims of St Francis Catholic Church Owo, Ondo State, who were gruesomely murdered on June 5, 2022 by suspected terrorists, will be buried this week, a media report said on Tuesday.
It will be recalled that several worshippers were killed, while other were seriously injured during the attack that has drawn condemnations from many Nigerian groups and individuals, including President Muhammadu Buhari and many state governors who have called for a probe into the attack.
Various Islamic organisations and state Muslim communities like Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) and the Akure Muslim Community not only condemned the attack but the Chief Imam of Akure Kingdom, Sheikh AbdulHakeem Yayi Akorede, led a delegation of the Akure Muslim Community to physically visit the church, victims in hospitals during which a token of cash donation was made to the Christian Church to support medical treatment of its wounded members.
In a statement, the Catholic Diocese of Ondo, reportedly said the slain worshippers will be given a mass burial, which will hold on Friday, June 17.
The Director of Social Communication of the Diocese of Ondo, Revd. Father Augustine Ikwu, said in a media interview in Akure that the mass burial would take place at a new cemetery of the diocese located along Emure-Ile Road in Owo.
The Diocese and the State government had earlier announced that about 40 people died while several others sustained injuries during the attack on a fateful day.
Some of the injured victims are still receiving treatment at the hospitals in the state.
Although no one has been arrested in connection with the attack, the police authorities said three unexploded improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have been recovered from the scene of the Owo church attack.
Force Police Relations Officer, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, noted that police investigators have also recovered “pellets of expended AK-47 ammunition” from the scene.
Condemning the tragic incident, the Inspector-General of Police said full-scale investigations into the incident have been ordered with a view to bringing to book the perpetrators of the gruesome killings.
Meanwhile, governors across the six states in the South-west region have declared three days of mourning for victims of the terror attack at Saint Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State.
The governors made the decision in a virtual meeting held on Friday to review the state of insecurity in the region.
According to a communique issued after the meeting, the governors condemned the June 5 attack in Owo which claimed at least 40 lives, and scores hospitalised.
“The Governors agreed to declare a 3-day mourning period in memory of the victims of the 5th June 2022 terror attack on St Francis Catholic, Owaluwa Street, Owo, Ondo State, starting from Monday, 13th June, to Wednesday, 15th, June 2022 to symbolise our collective loss across all South Western States in Nigeria,” the communique read in part.
“The meeting agreed that all the Governors should direct the flying of Flags at Half Mast in all public buildings, facilitates and official residences across all the States in the South West in honour of the victims of the Owo terror attack.”