Owo Church Attack: Ten months after the massacre, church reopens for worship service (Photos).

Ten months after a terror attack that killed at least 40 worshippers, St Francis Catholic Cathedral, Owo in Ondo State will reopen temorarily on Sunday for the Easter service.

The Bishop of the Ondo Catholic Diocese, Jude Arogundade, announced the development on Saturday.

“Since the unfortunate incident that befell our members at the Saint Francis Cathedral in Owo on June 5 2022, the church has been closed down for security reasons and as a mark of respect for our fallen brothers and sisters.

“The church shall be opened again for Easter Sunday. The government of Ondo state is as well planning to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the massacre in honor of our fallen heroes,” Mr Arogundade said.

But a member of the committee of the church on welfare of victims of the terror attack, Perpetua Ezibo, said some of the injured victims are still groaning in pain.

At least 40 worshippers were killed and hundreds of others injured when gunmen invaded the church during the Sunday Mass.

The terrorists hurled explosives and opened fire on the worshippers before escaping from the scene of the bloodbath.

Many of the injured victims were taken to the Federal Medical Centre and St. Louis Hospital, both in Owo for treatment.

But the police are yet to bring the terrorists to justice.

Mrs Ezibo, whose daughter was a victim of the attack, told our reporter that about five survivors are scheduled to undergo another round of surgery.

“She is getting better but she is going for another surgery,” she said with reference to her daughter.

Temporary reopening

The catechist of the church, Jonathan Awolo, told PREMIUM TIMES that the church is not reopening permanently yet because the reconstruction works are still ongoing.

“We are not opening finally because we are still building something there again concerning the event.

It is just that the church wants to bless the place so that they will start mass there. It is not officially opening but we want to be having masses there.

That is why the Bishop is coming to bless the place so that we will be able to start,” he said.

“They have finished everything but the one they are building, the monument for the remembrance of those people, we are still building that one, it is not yet completed. Probably, the final opening will be by June,” he added.


Mr Awolo was in church during the attack but had escaped unhurt.

“I am not happy that for many months we have been traveling far to celebrate mass. It is not good enough. It is a thing of joy for people. We will be able to manage the place for mass till the final opening.”

Mrs Ezibo also expressed readiness to resume mass with her relatives.

“I am personally happy because if we do not enter that church we cannot know that we are healed. Because as a health worker, I have seen accidents. It is like I am seeing it as a usual occurrence, it can happen at any time,” she said.

“I am happy entering the church again because if I do not enter, the God that saved me I am making Him (God) a liar. Definitely, I am going back to the church with my family.” PHOTOS BELOW