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‘Deeply saddened’ Pope Francis mourns victims of Owo massacre

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Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome, head of the Catholic Church

Crime

‘Deeply saddened’ Pope Francis mourns victims of Owo massacre

Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome, head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State, has expressed sadness over the attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State, southwestern Nigeria, which left many dead and others injured.

“I was deeply saddened to learn of the horrific attack at Saint Francis church in Owo in #Nigeria,” the cleric said via his Twitter handle on Monday.

He invited the world to pray for those affected by the attack and to pray for perpetrators.

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“#PrayTogether for all those affected by this act of unspeakable violence and for the conversion of those blinded by hatred and violence,” he wrote.

According to the Vaticannews, in a message, signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and addressed to Bishop Jude Arogundade of Ondo, the Pope assured those affected by “this act of unspeakable violence” of his spiritual closeness.

He also prayed for the divine blessings of comfort and strength on the Bishop and faithful of the diocese as they “continue to live the Gospel message with fidelity and courage.”

A witness, who identified herself as Toyin, said the terrorists attacked the church while the priest was rounding off proceedings of the service.

Traders at the popular Oja Oba Market in Owo, Ondo State, locked their shops Monday to mourn the victims of the deadly shooting.

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu visited the scene of the attack, condoled the victims, and directed that flags be flown at half-mast in the state for seven days.

Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria’s Vice President, on Monday visited Olowo of Owo to commiserate with the community over the attack.

Bola Tinubu, an APC presidential aspirant, visited the state and donated N50 million to the families of the victims of the attack and N25 million to the Catholic Church.

The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) also donated N50 million to victims of the attack.

The Chairman of the NGF and Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, made the donation when he paid a visit to his Ondo State counterpart at the Government House in Akure on Monday.

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