The Ondo State Government has 40 persons have been confirmed killed in Sunday’s terrorist attack on St Francis Catholic Church in Owo town.
The state health commissioner for Health, Dr Banji Ajaka, gave the new casualty figure in a statement issued on Wednesday, saying 40 persons had been confirmed dead and 127 involved in the attack.
Ajaka said the casualty figures as of Tuesday midnight showed that at “St. Louis Hospital, Owo, 39 people were involved and 13 deaths (confirmed)”.
He noted that at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, “a total number of persons involved is 84 and number of corpses in the FMC mortuary is 25; female, 17, and eight males”.
Two persons were also said to have died in private hospitals, taking the total number of deaths to 40.
The state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, also confirmed the figure while hosting a team of Catholic Bishops from the South-West on a condolence visit to Ondo, led by Archbishop Leke Abegunrin.
Akeredolu said, “What we witnessed in Owo on that Sunday, I have been looking for a word to describe it but I’m not too sure I can find one because it is indescribable. There is no word to describe it. If you say horrific, dastardly, horrendous, all those ones are common words and we use them for many things.
“But I have been looking for a better word to use because we have witnessed barbaric elements, animals in human skin. If you are human, you would not do what they have done. Maybe there are areas where they will do such a thing and they are not worried. But here, we are worried because it is not something we are used to. Human life means a lot to us.
“That is why one is moved. We will have a Memorial Park here where those who died in the attack will be buried. My Bishop sir, we will find a good place as a Memorial Park. It will also be my suggestion that even if there are people who have retrieved their family or members of their family, we must still have a symbolic grave there for them. And it will be there forever, it is not something we can forget and we should never forget it.”