The Governor of Ondo State, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has issued a statement exactly one year after the massacre at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo.
The incident left 41 persons killed, while several others were injured, a situation Akeredolu described as a black Sunday.
In a statement, he said, “One year after, we are still nursing our pain. The scars of the heavy blow dealt to us will always remind us of our losses and the pain we endured. The horrific attack was a dagger drawn into our hearts. It was the most dastardly act that could happen in any society.
“The Church of God was desecrated. A place of worship, considered safe, was turned into a slaughter slab. Our people were mindlessly killed by cowards and mass murderers. It was a tale of pain, sorrow, and fear. We are still grappling with the shock from the attack.
“So far, the Donation Management Committee on Owo Attack, led by the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Wale Akinterinwa, has reached out to the dependants of the victims and the injured. We have provided financial and medical assistance to the dependants and the injured.
“We understand that no amount of money can fill the void left by our loved ones. Our efforts are geared toward easing the burden created by the death of breadwinners in the families.
“We are constructing a fitting Memorial Park in honour of the deceased. The Memorial Park, situated opposite the Palace of Olowo of Owo, is part of our commitment to immortalise the victims of the attack.
“We once again extend our heartfelt condolences to all those who lost their loved ones in the horrific attack. We also sympathize with the injured and their families. Equally, we offer our condolences to the Catholic Church of Owo and the entire people of Owo.
“I thank former President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as well as other members of the Buhari-led administration for their roles and supports after the attack.
“I also appreciate President Bola Tinubu and my brother Governors under the platform of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) for their kind donations and assistance.”