The mass burial for the victims of the brutal shooting at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State held today at the Mydas Resort and Hotel, Owo. The Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu and his wife Chief Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu and the members of the State House of Assembly, led by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. David Bamidele Oleyelogun were amongst the many dignitaries present at the occasion.

Driving the news 
18 out of the 40 families of the victims carried the bodies of their loved ones to be buried in their various hometowns, although the state government had designated a memorial park in honor of the victims. 

Quick catch-up 
Gunmen attacked St. Francis Catholic Church on the 5th June 2022, just as the Christian worshippers were rounding up their Sunday service.

What they are saying 

  • Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, while speaking at the funeral service, lamented that the state had failed the victims of this tragedy. He said, “we have failed to defend these people. Not because we have not tried, but because these forces on the other side are evil and they have support. They will not triumph over us forever.”
  • The Bishop of Ondo Catholic Diocese, Dr. Jude Arogundade, declaring support for the governor, called him “a strong soldier” who has bravely fought against insecurity. 

What you should know 

  • The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, at a press briefing named the perpetrators of the shooting at Owo to be members of the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP).
  • In response to the claim by the federal government, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu tagged the declaration as “too hasty”. The governors defended his claim saying “ISWAP don’t hide their attacks. If they had done it, they would have owned up. We are yet to know and our security people are still on their trail.”
  • Governor Rotimi Akeredolu’s western counterpart, the Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, also described the federal government’s claim of ISWAP as perpetrators as being speculative. 
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