Ondo government, Catholic Church plan mass burial, memorial park for Owo victims
Akeredolu gives update on death toll as the group seeks support for victims
Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, yesterday, gave the assurance that the state government would provide land in a good environment for the mass burial of the victims of the Owo terrorist attack.
Akeredolu gave the assurance while playing host to a team of Catholic bishops from the South-West, led by Most Revd. Leke Abegunrin, who paid a condolence visit to him at his Ijebu-Owo residence, Ondo State.
The Catholic Bishop of Ondo Diocese, Most Rev. Jude Arogundade, who was in the team, declared that the church would be organising a befitting burial for the lost souls.
The governor, who noted that 127 persons were involved in the attack while 61 survivors are still on admission in different hospitals, disclosed that 26 persons had been discharged while 40 persons died.
He added that the new figure followed the harmonisation of the reports from various hospitals, including the private ones, urging the people to discountenance the figures earlier rolled out.
Akeredolu explained that the state government had set up an account for donations, following series of the calls and demand by well-meaning individuals who are desirous of helping the families of the victims and the survivors.
He assured that all the donations made would be judiciously utilised for the purpose meant for.
Bishop Abegunrin, who expressed sadness over the unexpected attack, described it as an attack on God. He said: “We were saddened by the incident.
“The Bishops of Yorubaland in Lagos and Ibadan province are here to commiserate with you, Owo people, the people of Ondo State and our brothers and sisters in the Catholic Church and Ondo Diocese.
“It is very painful. It can provoke people to retaliate and do what is ungodly but we are people of faith. We leave everything to God to judge but humanly speaking, we heard what you have been doing in the state that the perpetrators of this havoc will be brought to book before long and we are happy about that.”
Also, Arogundade said the visit was to comfort one another and also inform the governor about the plan to organise a befitting burial for the lost souls.
MEANWHILE, Ondo State Eminent Persons Group has condemned the terrorist attack, describing the invasion as “wicked, barbaric, sacrilegious and an affront on God.”
The group, in a statement by its Convener in Lagos, Mr. Banji Alabi, commiserated with families and relatives of victims of the attack, Akeredolu, the traditional ruler of the ancient town, Olowo of Owo, Oba Ogunoye Gbadegesin; the Owo community and the Catholic Church in Nigeria over the dastardly attack.
Alabi, charged the Federal Government and security agencies to get to the root of the crime, arrest the evil doers and prosecute them.
He said that it was not enough to condemn the attack or empatise with the victims or give assistance to the injured and families of those killed.