The Ondo State Government on Wednesday said the death toll from the Sunday terrorists attack on St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, is now 40.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Banji Ajaka, disclosed this in a statement issued on Wednesday.
Ajaka said as of Tuesday midnight, the state government’s record showed that those affected by the attack are 127 while 40 were confirmed dead.
GoldmyneTV had earlier quoted the Catholic Bishop of Ondo Diocese, Jude Arogundade, as putting the casualty figure at 38.
Ajaka, in the statement said, “The situation report as of 12 midnight on Tuesday, June 7, 2022 is that at St. Louis Hospital, Owo, 39 people were involved and 13 deaths.
“At the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, the total number of persons involved is 84 and number of corpses in FMC mortuary is 25; 17 females and eight males.”
He also said two deaths were recorded from two private hospitals in the state.
Meanwhile, the state governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, has assured the Catholic Church that the state government will provide land in a good environment for the mass burial of the victims.
Akeredolu gave the assurance while receiving a team of Catholic bishops from the South-West led by Archbishop Leke Abegunrin, at his residence in Owo.
The governor, who also confirmed the new casualty figure, said the new figure followed the harmonisation of reports from various hospitals.
He said, “We will have a Memorial Park here where those who died in the attack will be buried.
“We will find a good place as a Memorial Park. It will also be my suggestion that even if there are people who have retrieved their family or members of their family, we must still have a symbolic grave there for them. And it will be there forever, it is not something we can forget and we should never forget it.”
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Owo Local Government Area said it had begun preparation to take corpses of its members who were killed in the attack to the South-East for burial.
Owo terror attack: A new phase of insecurity begins in Nigeria.
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