That Òwò  massacre….


St. Francis Catholic Church

THEY woke up  on that Sunday morning bubbling with life. Yes, they woke up hale and hearty .They  took their bath , wore their best clothes  to celebrate and to  do thanksgiving . ‘Armed’   with their rosaries dangling in their hands  and  necks  as  they  clutched   their Holy Bibles under their armpits  then  headed  for  church to serve God. While in Church  the Choristers  joyfully sang to high heavens , praised the Lord  and  danced like skilled dancers rejoicing  and praising God .In fact they   mashed Satan on the ground  and they sang  “mash am , mash am “.  They  te èsù pa and shouted Hallelujah as they  danced  to the tune of Organ. The Priest performed his Priestly  rituals  while the congregation  prayed, poured their  troubled minds  and deposited their problems  to   Holy Mary   mother of Jesus whose ‘picture’ was on the wall of the altar    to solve  .Yes , they looked forward to seeing another week and waiting for their prayers to be answered  and manifested  the following week  in order to come back to give  testimonies the following Sunday.


As the the church service was coming to an end the  unexpected happened . Tragedy struck.  Within a twinkle of  an eye catastrophy   reared its ugly head. The  congregants’  joy was cut short .  It was an unhappy ending as some  criminals entered  the church and punctured their happiness . Sadness took over as the church  received some visitants : the Devil they prayed against  appeared from nowhere. The  Devil  they avoided and cursed  appeared in Church. Yes!, the  Satan they mashed and crushed suddenly rose  as  he manifested himself through his Satanic  messengers . The Devil came to kill, maim, steal and destroy . And they came , killed, maimed, stole and destroyed.

  Ha! Oloun Oba o! the unsuspected  congregants  met  one -on -one  armed -to-the -teeth    daredevil armed  men. They were face -to -face -with  the men of the underworld  holding AK 47  (Kalashnikov automatic   rifles). They  saw   the  blood –  thirsty and  fierce- looking bloodshot eyes of  these wicked  men   . Haaa  ki l’eleyi?.  Igbe a n’fe ewé! Guns ke , in the church!. Wàhálà de! . Òràn ńlá!. Oghàn mó gbé! Mo wèsún òràn. Òrò  di bi o ko lo y’àgò  fun mi. Oloun Oba o, eni orí kó yo o d’ile. The sound of their guns  gbàù, kà-kà-kà-kàà   rent the air and  made some to climb the fence , some hid  under the pulpit , some under the Pews , some ran into Sacristy while  some laid flat  as the  assassins  emptied bullets on them .They  opened fire and sprayed  their bullets mercilessly  on them .God have mercy .They  shelled heavily . Then a loud sound was heard, it was  a dynamite  . It was an explosive . It was  bomb!. Bómbù kè in the House of God?.  The church building vibrated and shook to its foundation. All the materials on the table  came down crashing , human  brains  spilled on the altar. Human flesh littered the ground like leaves. Blood splattered on the walls as they stained the pictures  of  Holy Mary on the altar. Ha! it was a Black Sunday . Yes, ojó burúkú  èsù  gb’omi mu. The old ones who could not run with their feeble legs were not as lucky. Innocent children were caught in the  melee  as they were soaked in their own pool of blood. Ha , nwon o nii jèrè. Ik ú òjijì  will kill these wicked people.

While some mothers  abandoned their children and ran for their dear lives  having the Yoruba saying in mind that  bi iná jo ni jo omo eni t’ara eni laa ko gbòn, O di bii o kò lo y’àgò  fun mi .While some too died alongside  with their children. Husband and wife were forcefully ‘joined’ together in death as they were shot dead!. It was like a movie but real.

The assailants opened fire and   shot the  innocent congregants  .Limbs were separated from the bodies. Some had their bones shattered . Body parts scattered on the floor .Blood was everywhere .  It was  ikú gbígbóná as innocent souls were sent to the grave  . Many of them were identified by their clothes and shoes they wore. It reminds  one the Hotel Rwanda Movie – a 2004 drama film directed by Terry George .  Haaa ! O ma se o. Ìkà l’ènìyàn, ènìyàn  ni ìkà.


This toddler came from America to visit her grandparents, was among the victims

Some minutes later ( after the monsters had left) the church was besieged by sympathizers  as tears flowed freely while many   lay dead  and some were  writhing in pain, dying .The assailants left behind  sorrow ,tears and  blood courtesy of Fela Anikulapo -Kuti.  The Federal Medical Centre, St Louis Catholic Hospital  had  their mortuaries filled  with  dead bodies. Over 40 were killed. The  victims had their blood -soaked  clothes and shoes returned home  by sympathizers who  identified them  telling the family members of the victims  that the owners of these properties are no more. Tears flowed freely, the shouts of õróóó òòò  rent the air. In the victims’ homes crying and anguish filled the air. Many were rolling on the floor while the bold ones were gnashing their teeth. Wailing took over. Wàláítàlaì the old held their heads  biting  their lower lips as if regretting going to church that day. It was a Black Sunday.


The ancient town where Action Group (AG) was formed in 1951 which made it popular politically  became  the sacrificial lamb for the ISWAP who owned up to the killings . Who could have done it?.  Questions remained unanswered while others guess as well as theories upon theories emerged. This dastardly act shook not only  Òwò but Yorubaland and Nigeria as a whole. Unexpectedly , the ancient town became a Mecca of sorts for genuine and fake sympathizers  for some politicians  came for political reasons . Politicians came to show sympathy while the CNN and other foreign media reported the ugly incident that occurred at St. Francis Catholic Church , Òwálúwà Street , Òwò, Ondo State. The whole world was taken by surprise. Òwò for that matter? .Òwò  the land of Honour was dishonoured   by the intruders  that day as the assailants spilled innocent blood. Òwò of all towns? ÒGHÒ!.OGHÒ!!.


On the third day women and children came out not only to protest but to lay  curse  and invoke the spirit of Òronshèn (a goddess in Òwò) on those who performed the heinous act. Few  days later  the whole town  trooped to the palace Of Olówò  of Òwò, Oba Ajíbádé Ògúnoyè  III  to  have a glimpse of  those  were allegedly  caught  whom they suspected to have  performed  the  wicked act. Rumour went round  from Òwò to America, Canada , France that the assailants had been arrested. Na lie, no bi dem jare .Those arrested were later discovered to be Hausas selling Indian Hemp in the farm. Again , the whole town and the world were told that  the search for the assailants continued. When will we apprehend these criminals?

Elerewe’s killers yet to be prosecuted


Although this ugly incident is not new. What is new is that  it happened in a  Church  . About 21 years ago dozens of  people were killed in Owo  during the  OPC members’ clash . About 22 years ago Engineer Fadare Amúlélé was brutally killed alongside his wife and his house was burnt down .In fact petrol was poured into the toilet where he and his wife ran into to hide and the couple were     gruesomely burnt alive!.  Six  years ago some robbers invaded the ancient  town and unleashed terror on the indigenes as they  killed many  including one Mr. Ogundipe Adene who was in his late 70s. He relocated from America to Ipènmèn after   spending 29years in the United Sate of America  .The report said that some were caught but that was all we heard about it till date.

Exactly six months ago High Chief  Elérèwè of Owo Kingdom Túndé Ìlòrí was brutally murdered in Owo  .According to reports some suspects were arrested but released and up till the moment of filing this report nothing was done.

About one month ago news went round that a foreigner was kidnapped after killing a soldier who was guarding the Engineer working on  road construction in Owo. The soldier was shot in  the head and the video went viral .Up till the moment of reporting this story  nobody  has been arrested.

Couple killed


Since the ugly incident the social media   has been  awashed  with all kinds of ugly and unbelievable stories that  some disgruntled people were after the Olowo Of Owo’s life . The video has been going round . Not only this some Bloggers seized  the opportunity to  have verbal  diarrhea  talking jargons . Let me remind you all that we don’t toy with our traditional ruler, the Olowo of wo. We respect our King and therefore those self -aclaimed sympathizers or Sòròsòrò ( Presenters) should be mindful of their words if not we would sue them to Court and would ask Òronshèn to deal with them. One of them was talking about the money donated to the Church and to the family members of the victims, please Bloggers be warned  and know  that Owo is  a land of Honour !.


According to history Òwò  has never been conquered in war and no one has ever invaded Òwò .So what is happening? .Where are the Babalawos and the gods  in Òwò? Where are the powerful  men in Òwò?. Is Owo no longer the Ogho  we know?. I doubt if we will get these assailants , infact I doubt 1,00000 times for if the killers  of Elerewe cannot be fished out  , and when the suspects were arrested it  was turned  to  awúrúju , it was done in  màgòmágó  way and they were released. It is almost going  the way of Dele Giwa’s case when we all knew the killers of Dele Giwa yet none of them was brought to book. Please when are we going to  arrest , re arrest killers of Elerewe ? .When are we going to get the killers of worshippers of St. Francis Catholic Church?

And the questions remains unanswered ” Who Killed Chief Elerewe of Owo Kingdom?. Who killed the Congregants at St. Francis Church?. Who killed Fadare  Amulele? . If we cannot unravel the killers of Elerewe ,then I doubt if we can get those who came from outside to unleash terror on St. Francis Church members!.



We need gun. We need amulets .We need ōgùn abenugongo . We  need Àse .We need both  physical and spiritual intervention. Imagine these assailants had the effrontery to  come to the centre of the town very close to Olowo of Owo’s palace to unleash terror for 30minutews according to reports and nothing happened .Nobody challenged them .Kai! O ma se o. Everybody was indoor to save their heads. Ah! it is unheard of .Ki lode? and when they left everybody now came out crying and rolling on the floor. According to some reports they contacted the police who in turn complained of not having vehicles to use. But wait where are the brave ones in Owo?. If they could shoot and  unleashed terror for 30minutes uninterrupted then they would do worse in the nearby villages uninterrupted as they are now doing in Benue and other Northern areas where they would invade and killed for hours uninterrupted.

It was these victims today and who knows the next victims  ? . It could be me and it could be you!. It could be a member of my family and as well could be yours!.  When the Elerewe of Owo was killed I wrote and wrote not because I enjoy writing but it could happen to ANYBODY. Eni kan lo mo.  He who feels it knows it .


This writer is angry as he asks’ where are our traditionalists?’


As  the old man was  told that his only child  had his boat capsized and was drowned by a ferocious  whale , he was dumbfounded and did not say a word. The following day he went to the spot   where the boat capsized and sprinkled some powdery substance  there. On the third   day the carcass of the  huge whale  was found by the river bank. When the old man visited the place and saw it ,he was relieved. He said ” this is to save other proposed  victims”. Where is our traditional power  our forefathers bequeath to us? .When the St Francis Church members’  assassins fled they should be made to start dancing or be confused where they were. Where is our power?

Some months ago some dare -devil armed robbers  robbed some banks in Uromi, Edo State .The robbers killed and used explosives on the Banks’ vaults  and the ATM’s machines and carted away millions of naira in Ghana Must Go bags . Immediately the youths heard about the news they barricaded all the roads  leading to the town to avoid the robbers from escaping . The robbers could not pass through the road and therefore  abandoned their loots and fled, according to reports. The video went viral in social media .Now where are our brave youths?.  After killing our people the youths came out fuming  and raging . Hmmmmm, medicine after death , you will say. We could have used our phones to boldly take their pictures. We could have use our Babalawos to make them be dancing to  the sound of the unseen drums and invisible bells . They could have  turned the killers to ants or  turned them to sweepers and be sweeping the Church compound. Where are the Babalawos we honour, fear and respect?

Mark you , these dare devil ones  if care is not taken would start unleashing terror on our villages for they would think if they could succeed  in  the town then they could do this unperturbed anywhere.

What is the role of our Government on security?.But the Government cannot do everything.  Where are our traditionalists /Babalawos? is our iseese no more working?.

I rest my case.