The United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom have all condemned the attack on worshippers at St Francis Catholic Church, Owo in Ondo State.
A statement by Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for UN chief, said “the Secretary-General condemns in the strongest terms the heinous attack in the St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State, on the 5th of June, 2022, which resulted in the death and injuries of scores of civilians as people gathered for the Pentecost service.”
According to the statement, António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, urged the Nigerian authorities to spare no effort in bringing the perpetrators to justice, adding that attacks on places of worship are abhorrent.
Also, the EU high representative, Josep Borell, in a statement issued in Brussells on Monday, expressing concern as well as condemning the attack on “defenceless worshippers.”
“The European Union is shocked by and condemns Sunday’s armed attack on churchgoers in Owo, Ondo State, Southwest of Nigeria, in which scores of defenceless worshippers were killed,” the statement read in part. Mr Borell described the recent attacks in Nigeria as unacceptable and becoming recurrent. He also urged the government to bring the culprits to justice.
“The unacceptable attacks by non-state armed groups are becoming recurrent in various parts of Nigeria and the senseless violence has now spread to the hitherto peaceful state of Ondo. The EU remains committed to working with the Nigerian authorities to stop this spiral of violence, find a lasting solution. We continue to support Nigeria in its efforts in building sustainable peace, deepening democracy and ensuring protection of fundamental human rights of all its people, including the right of worship and freedom of religion or belief,” Mr Borell said.
Catriona Laing, UK envoy to Nigeria, in a tweet wrote, “Terrible news today from Owo in Ondo State. I condemn those responsible for this horrific crime. I extend my sympathies to all those affected.”
Similarly, Vicky Ford, UK minister for Africa, in a tweet, said she was horrified by the attack, insisting that perpetrators must face justice.
“I am horrified by the attack that took place in Owo in Ondo State, Nigeria today. The UK condemns those responsible, they must face justice for their appalling crime. My thoughts and prayers are with the families and communities affected.”
It would be recalled that Gunmen on Sunday attacked St Francis catholic Church, Owo in Ondo State leaving over 70 people including children dead, the Police Authority said in its account. A witness, who identified herself as Toyin, said the terrorists attacked the church while the priest was rounding off proceedings of the service.