It was a Black Sunday on June 5 2022, after unknown shooters with explosives stormed St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Owo Town, Ondo State, around 11:30 am and opened fire on innocent Christians honouring their God for Pentecost Sunday. From videos making the rounds, many worshippers were found lying in a pool of their blood by town residents shortly after the attack. According to reports, over 80 worshippers have been confirmed dead, including adults and children. Although still unconfirmed, some children were reportedly kidnapped during the gruesome attack.
Children lost their parents, and parents lost their children. One of the most heartbreaking stories that have gone viral is a family of 4 visiting their relative in Owo. They had all gone into the church that morning with hopes of returning to their host home in one piece. Sadly the innocent family was utterly wiped out from the face of the earth. Since the attack, the whole town has been thrown into mourning.
In contrast, others continue running helter-skelter to either rush victims to the Federal Medical Centre in the town or get blood donors to help surviving victims. Before this attack, Owo, an ancient town known for its unique pottery and carved arts, was described as peaceful and serene. As such, the reasons behind this attack remain very unclear to all and sundry. With many residents earning a living from farming both food and cash crops, including Marijuana, some have begun to speculate it is a drug cartel sending a message to certain people. However, many pointed out it must be bandits or suspected religious terrorist, stating the attack fits their modus operandi of attacking Christians and their place of worship. On the other hand, some have pointed out the increasingly violent conflict between farmers and Fulani herders encroaching on farmland and forest reserves. They claim it is a revenge attack to send a message to the state governor who chased away violent Fulani Herders in the past and an indigene of Owo. Despite what the attack could mean, the state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has begged Owo residents not to take laws into their own hands. Sadly, they have mostly turned deaf ears as reports claim indigenes have begun to send their Fulani neighbours packing. Owo is only 4 hours away from Lagos, 1 hour away from Ekiti State, 3 hours away from Ogun State, and 2 hours away from Osun State. While this information may sound like mere geography, it has begun to send panic waves among Southerners who believe that the Boko Haram terrorist may be closer to home than thought. While the general public continues to react on social media, the president, governors, ministers and other top politicians have also joined in expressing shock. Are they doing it wholeheartedly in hopes of finding a solution to save lives, or are they reacting to score political points? #OwoAttack #Owomassacre #OndoAttack