Over 50 people have been reportedly dead as gunmen attacked worshippers at St Francis Catholic Church, Owa-luwa Street, Owo in Ondo State.
The Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who visited the scene of the terror attack described it as a massacre and horrific.
According to a statement released by Richard Olatunde, the chief press secretary of the state governor, Akeredolu said he was terribly sad and that the attack was the most dastardly act that could happen in any society.
He also visited the hospitals where survivors of the unprovoked attack are receiving medical attention.
He was also at the palace of the Olowo of Owo, Oba Gbadegesin Ogunoye, to condole with the monarch over the sad incident.
“What has happened here today is tragic. No better way to qualify it. It is the most tragic event! Horrific! What we have seen in America is a child play to what has happened here.
“That it happened in a church, to say the least, is most condemnable. I feel terribly sad, and I can understand our people are in sad mood. Nobody will see or hear what happened here that will feel safe.
“But let me tell you, we have a duty to protect you. Our security agencies lost about two men. It was not an expected attack. It was sudden. How they entered and escaped is still surprising. What has happened met us unexpectedly.
“On this matter, don’t retaliate. We know what to do and you will hear it. The perpetrators will never escape. We are after them. And I can assure you we will get them. I am not boasting.
“I want to express my condolences to those who have lost their dear ones to this unnecessary gruesome murder. This is a great massacre. Our people in Ondo state we will not let down their guard. This will not happen again. We have all heads of security agencies here. They are listening to me, and I am urging them to take all necessary steps.
“This must not happen again. We must be very vigilant. I want to particularly send a word of condolence to the Bishop. What they damaged here is much. Dynamite was used. We can see pools of blood everywhere.
“I have come to appeal to you to maintain your calm and let the security agencies take charge. They are taking this seriously. Please, don’t take laws into your hands,” Akeredolu said.
Meanwhile, the Olowo commended Governor Akeredolu for showing leadership, adding that it takes genuine leadership for the Governor to have flown into the state from Abuja barely three hours the incident happened.
“I called you less than three hours ago from Abuja and you are here already. That’s leadership. It’s quite unfortunate that this kind of incident would happen in Owo. There must be a motive behind this. It behoves on our security agencies to investigate this deep down so that those behind it will face the full wrath of the law.
“No one brings battle into Owo. We shall give it what it takes. I believe the federal government should be much more concern. Those behind this want to cause discord in the country. The whole nation is challenged. On our part, whatever is expected of us, we will do. I have spoken to our youths to remain calm,” the Olowo said.