Some Suspects of Pentecost Sunday Attack on Catholic Church in Nigeria Arrested (Governor)

In a June 23 press conferenceThe Ondo State Commander of the Security Network Agency, known as “Corps Amotekun”, told reporters that all suspects linked to the Pentecost Sunday attack on the Church Catholic would eventually be arrested.

“Regarding the Owo incident, we have recovered the last vehicle they used for this operation and we have made a few arrests and we have also recovered some vital things which we are working on,” Adetunji Adeleye told reporters during the June 23 press conference.

He said, “A number of people have been arrested in relation to the Owo issue as well as a number of equipment.”

“That day we chased them to the point of recovering the vehicle and we are still chasing them,” the commander said as he paraded some 71 men arrested for various criminal activities in Ondo state.

In an interview with Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) International, Fr. Andrew Adeniyi Abayomi recounted his experience June 5 attack saying, “I was still in the sanctuary. I had finished mass and was putting incense in the thurible, to prepare for the procession in front of the church. That’s when I heard a noise.

“I thought it was a door slamming, or someone falling, or seeing a snake, because that’s happened before,” the father said. Abayomi, associate pastor at St. Francis Xavier Church, told ACN International in a report shared with ACI Africa on June 15.

He continued: “But then I heard a second loud noise and saw parishioners running in different directions around the church. I stood there in shock, wondering what was going on, when someone ran towards me shouting, “Father, unknown gunmen!”

At the time, the Nigerian Catholic priest went on to say, “I was not fearing for my life, rather I was thinking about how to save my parishioners.”

“Some of them found the courage to lock the front door. I urged people to move through the sanctuary to the sacristy. Some parishioners escaped that way. I stayed in the interior part of the sacristy. I couldn’t run because I was surrounded by children, while adults clung to me, some even inside my chasuble. I protected them like a hen protects her chicks,” the father said. Abayomi then narrated.

“I heard the voices of my parishioners: ‘Father, please save us; Father, pray!” he recalled, adding, “I encouraged them and calmed them down, and said that they should not worry, that I was praying and that God would do something.”

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