Owo: We locked church for 20 minutes during attack, priest narrates experience

St Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Owo Ondo after gunmen attack

Rev. Fr Andrew Abayomi, who officiated the Mass at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owa-luwa Street, Owo, Ondo State at the time gunmen attacked, said on Sunday that the church was about to round off when the shooters struck.

More than 30 persons were killed in the attack by gunmen yet to be identified.

Speaking with BBC Yoruba, Abayomi said, “We were about to round off service. I had even asked people to start leaving, then we started hearing gunshots coming from different angles.

“We hid inside the church but some people had left when the attack happened. We locked ourselves in the church for 20 minutes. When we heard that they had left, we opened the church and rushed the victims to the hospital.”

Abayomi was rumoured to have been abducted by the attackers. But the diocese refuted the rumour.

“Meanwhile, all the Priests and Bishop in the parish are safe and non was kidnapped as the social media has it. Nonetheless, let us continue to pray for them and the good people of Owo and the state at large,” a statement by the spokesman of the diocese Rev Fr. Augustine Ikwu said.

“We turn to God to console the families of those whose lives were lost to this distressing incident, and we pray for the departed souls to rest in peace. Amen.”