File image of Governor Akeredolu weeping at the funeral of Owo massacre victims.
Ondo State Government has pledged continuous support to families of victims of June 5, 2022, gunmen attack St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the attack on the church left 41 persons dead and several people injured.
Also, a memorial park was dedicated in honour of victims that died at the church premises.
The State’s Deputy Governor, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa, who led other state executive council members to a memorial mass in the church on Saturday in Owo, said it was indeed a black Sunday for the people of Ondo State and Nigeria in general.
Aiyedatiwa said the mass was a gathering of mixed feelings as people would still remember their friends and loved ones who died during the attack.
He appreciated Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu for all he had done for the victims and survivors.
The deputy governor revealed that each of the survivors had gotten the sum of N500,000 in two tranches, adding that the state government had also built a memorial park in honour of those that lost their lives in the incident.
Aiyedatiwa said all the injured persons’ bills were settled by the state government and appreciated all those that donated to the victims in one way or the other.
“It was indeed a black Sunday for us in Ondo State. The unfortunate incident happened when they were doing one of the things the Lord has mandated us to do – worship him.
“We commiserate with those that have lost their loved ones. They are saints of the Lord now. We need to get closer to God and fulfil His purpose.
“Ondo Government since this incident happened have done so much in a way to support the families of those who have lost their loved ones. We appreciate the governor for all he has done on this disaster,”he said.
Aiyedatiwa said the state government would continue to protect and support all citizens and residents, irrespective of tribe and religion as the state placed a high premium on the lives and dignity of human beings.
In his homily, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ondo, Most Rev. Jude Arogundade, said the gathering was not intended to re-enact their anger, but an opportunity to show to the world how the victims have healed in Christ.
Arogundade called on the government to wake up to its responsibility, hold accountable the perpetrators of the dastardly act and look inward for the emancipation of Nigeria.
The bishop, who said no amount of evil intentions could separate the people from the love of Christ, said Ondo State Government had done what any other government would have done for victims of any attack.
He called on the Federal Government to unveil those behind the attack and bring them to book so that Justice would be served.
Mrs Jumoke Veronica, who lost her mother to the attack, said life had not been the same since the incident occurred.