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Owo terror attack: WHO visits Akeredolu, donates trauma kits, others

By Kemi Olatunde & Adekola Afolabi

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Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, yesterday received a team of World Health Organisation (WHO) led by the Country Representative and Head of Mission, Nigeria, Dr. Walter Mulombo in his office, Alagbaka, Akure.

The team was in the state to commiserate with the Governor and the state over the killing last Sunday at St Francis Catholic Church, Owo where scores were killed and many injured.

Governor Akeredolu described the terror attack as a bad experience which has never happened  in the South-West region.

He noted that contrary to rumors spreading round, no one was kidnapped during the incident, saying  “the terrorists came to maim and kill.

As part of the measure being put in place to forestall future occurrences, Governor Akeredolu encouraged public and religion center to install Close Circuit Cameras (CCTV), in strategic places to enhance security.

He also called on the people to be more vigilant and report strange faces in their vicinities.

The Governor appreciated the WHO team for identifying with the state and the support given so far, adding that he was surprised that such a dastardly act could be carried out even in the sanctuary.

“Where else is safe if that sanctuary was not safe. In war situation, even soldiers could run into church for safety. These are mad people, I’m not too sure they are human beings. They have lost their own humanity and there is no way you can regard them as human beings. I think they are animals in human skin.

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“Initially it was rumoured that the Parish priest was probably kidnapped but when we got there the Parish priest showed up and said nobody was kidnapped. Nobody. They did not go for the Sunday collection and nothing was taken. Clearly they were there to maim and kill.”Akeredolu stressed.

While commending the WHO team for their quick response and support, the Governor further solicited for more supports in several areas including social support as the situation demands.

Earlier, the leader of the team, Dr. Walter Mulombo, while commiserating with the Governor on the sad occurrence, specifically applauded Governor Akeredolu for his quality leadership which prompted him to respond almost immediately to the situation despite the fact that he was outside the State when the attack happened.

He described the attack on worshippers including little children as unspeakable, saying WHO would offer relevant supports during the difficult situation.

“I have been engaged in many response emergencies and I can count on my fingers the number of time I saw a Governor like that in the field going round, making sure things are right. I’m very encouraged and impressed.

“The World Health Organisation is committed to support your state to respond to all hazard and emergencies including following up of such unfortunate incident. I have come with my colleagues and also those working in the emergency departments, some specialists who can help in dealing with the situation, and our colleagues who will give social support.

“We also came with some emergency trauma kits and some other support materials. This is just a contribution and solidarity. We will remain available for any additional support as Ondo State might require to deal with this difficult situation. We are also trying to engage our other UN agencies to come together and see how we can support Ondo to recover from this unfortunate incident”, he added.

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Dr. Mulombo promised to continue to work with the government to make sure the state comes out stronger from the incident

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