A mass funeral has been held for victims of Owo Catholic Church attack in Nigeria.

Gunmen opened fire inside a Catholic church in southwest Nigeria during Pentecost Sunday Mass today killing at least 50 people.

The victims, Parishioners of the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church included women and children.

The funeral Mass put together by the Catholic Diocese of Ondo and the state government was attended by government functionaries including the Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, his wife, Betty, the Olowo of Owo, Oba Ajibade Ogunoye and former Governor of the state, Dr Olusegun Mimiko among other top officials of the state government.

Catholic clerics including Archbishop of Ibadan archdiocese, Most Rev Leke Abegunrin, Bishop of the Diocese of Sokoto, Mathew Hassan Kukah, Bishop of Oyo Diocese, Leke Badejo and those of Osogbo, Ado-Ekiti, Abeokuta, ijebu-Ode and other Dioceses of the church in the South West also graced the occasion.

Speaking in his homily, the Catholic Bishop of Oyo Diocese, Bishop Leke Badejo said though the victims were dead, they remain save in the hands of Jesus, their saviour.

He stressed the need for Christians to embrace self-defense, which he said is allowed in the doctrine of the Catholic Church, stating that it is clear government can no longer provide the needed security for the citizenry.

“Is Bokoharam more powerful than our government? Are bandits and terrorists more powerful than our Federal Government? I don’t think so, but recent events have shown that our government cannot secure us again,” he said.

Nigeria is battling an Islamist insurgency in the northeast and armed gangs who carry out attacks and kidnappings for ransom, mostly in the northwest.

 

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