The Catholic Diocese of Ondo has disputed media claims that one of its priests was kidnapped by assailants during a mass at St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo on June 5th.
According to a previous allegation, the officiating priest, Rev. Fr. Andrew Abayomi, was kidnapped during the event, which occurred around midday and just as the mass was about to complete.
However, the church’s Director of Social Communications, Rev Augustine Ikwu, published a statement claiming that the web allegation of the pastors’ kidnapping was incorrect.
The statement runs as follows:
“It is Pentecost Sunday, a time every Catholic is expected to be in church to commemorate the solemnity. It is so sad to say that while the Holy Mass was going on, men of unknown origin, wielding guns attacked St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church. Many are feared dead, many others injured and the church violated. The identity of the perpetrators remains unknown and the situation has left the community devastated.
However, for now, security agencies have been deployed to the community to relatively handle the situation. At this point in the history of our dear country Nigeria, we need God’s ultimate intervention to restore peace and tranquility.
Meanwhile, all the priests in the parish are safe and none was kidnapped as the social media has it. The Bishop of the Diocese is also with them at this trying time. Let us continue to pray for them and the good people of Owo and the state at large.”