Owo attack: Mass burial underway for victims

Names and pictures of the victims of the Sunday, June 5, massacre of worshippers at Owo Catholic Church have been revealed as their burial gets underway in Ondo State.

At least 40 people, including children were killed by yet to be identified gunmen at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo.

About 80 others sustained different degree on injuries during the attack.

The Federal Government had linked the attack to terrorist group Islmic State of West Africa, ISWAP, but the governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu questioned the claim, describing it as hasty.

Akeredolu, members of his cabinet, the leadership of Catholic Church in South west Nigeria among other dignitaries are attending the ongoing burial ceremony.

Ondo State Commissioner, Bamidele Ademola-Olateju in a Facebook post shared the names and pictures of the victims of the attack as contained in a programme of the event.

She also said 21 coffins containing the remains of some of the victims are in church for the burial ceremony.

It was gathered that family members had taken away the remains of some of the victims of the massacre for burial.

Ademola-Olateju had in an earlier post disputed claim that the Ọwọ massacre victims are getting mass burial. She said Governor Akeredolu had agreed with the Catholic Church on how to give the victims of the massacre a befitting burial.

“Last week when Governor Akeredolu received Catholic Bishops at Ọwọ, all EXCO members were on hand. We all know the Catholic Church is one of the most powerful institutions in the world.

“They have a great history and tradition to draw from. They even have a country, the Vatican. The Catholic Bishop of Ondo, The Most Reverend Jude Arogundade requested for land to bury the victims. He asked that the land be big enough, because they will build a memorial dedicated to the victims with their names.

“Even those who have taken their dead to Kogi and the Southeast will have headstones. They are planning a memorial park, the like we have never seen in this country. The governor approved the request immediately.

“Is a memorial park with individual headstone a mass grave? Is creating a memorial park to make sure we never forget, a mass burial? May God save us from ignorance, the evil of misinformation and the evil of ourselves,” Adamola-Olateju said.

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