Women and children are believed to have been killed, and the state governor called the attack a “great massacre” and “the most despicable act that could happen in any society.”
A gunman killed at least 50 people in a horrific attack on a church.
The attackers opened fire on people outside and inside the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in the town of Owo, Nigeria’s Ondo state, killing Sunday worshipers indiscriminately, including women and children.
Ondo State Governor Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, who visited the scene and the injured in hospital, described Sunday’s incident as “a major massacre” that should not be allowed to happen again.
The identity or motives of the attackers are not yet known.
A doctor at a hospital in Owo told Reuters that at least 50 bodies were taken to two hospitals in the city after the attack. The paramedic said there was an urgent need for blood donations to treat the injured.
President Muhammadu Buhari called the attack “disgusting”.
“No matter what happens, this country will never give in to evil and evil people, and the darkness will never overcome the light,” he said.
In a statement, Rev. Augustine Ikwu, a secretary of the Catholic Church in Ondo, said: “We turn to God to comfort the families of those whose lives have been lost.”
Rev. Ikwu added, “It is so sad that during Holy Mass unidentified gunmen attacked St. Francis Catholic Church… leaving many feared dead and many others injured and desecrating the church.”
Governor Akeredolu called the attack “the most insidious act that can happen in a society” and a “black Sunday in Owo”.
“The heinous and satanic attack is a calculated attack on the peace-loving people of the Owo Kingdom, who have enjoyed relative peace over the years,” he said.
“I feel sorry for my people in Owo, especially the families of those who lost their lives in this ugly and unfortunate attack.”
Akeredolu called the shooting a “gruesome murder” and urged people to “stay calm and vigilant.”
“Don’t pick up the law,” he said. “I spoke to the heads of the security authorities. I was also assured that security agents would be deployed to monitor the Kingdom of Owo and restore normalcy.”
Akeredolu vowed to make the attackers “pay for their crimes.”
“Our people in Ondo State will not let go of their vigilance,” he said. “It won’t happen again. I have asked the heads of security agencies to take all necessary steps.”
Akeredolu said he had ordered Southwest Security Network commanders to “convene a joint security meeting of all commanders in the Southwest to immediately begin joint operations in the region.”
Nigeria is battling an Islamist insurgency in the north-east and armed gangs carrying out attacks and kidnappings for ransom in the north-west.
Such attacks are rarer in the southwest.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/nigeria-church-attack-gunmen-shoots-27154582 Attack on church in Nigeria: Gunmen shoot dead at least 50 in massacre during Sunday service - World News