IT was an emotional moment, as families of the deceased and victims of the June 5 attack on St. Francis Catholic Church, in Owo, Ondo State, yesterday, recounted their ordeals.
About 50 worshipers, including children, were massacred by terrorists, who invaded the church during a morning mass.
They narrated their ordeals during the presentation of cash donations to the families of the deceased and victims, by the state government, at the premises of the church, yesterday.
A corp member, Onuoha Chinedu, who lost his parents, said: “I was in the church on that Sunday and I thank God for saving my life.
“But when it dawned on me that l have lost my parents to the attack, I knew the end has come. But, as a Christian, I put my trust in God, who knows the best.
“I wish to appreciate the Ondo State government for what they have done thus far, and for the fatherly love.
“It shows that we have a government that has sympathy for citizens and everyone involved in the incident. I also thank the Catholic Church for everything they have done.”
Also, Omodara Feyidupe, who lost her brother, Obuche Krummale, to the attack, lamented that the incident destabilised the family.
She, however, commended the government for the timely intervention since the incident took place.
“Even when the grandmother he was taking care of heard of his demise, she had an attack that led to her death. The package given to us is well appreciated. The efforts of the Committee set up by Ondo State Government led by Commissioner for Finance, Wale Akinterinwa, has done well,” she added.
On his part, Ngozika Onyeke, who lost her husband, Onyebuchi Onyeke, and Lawrence Nzelu, who lost his wife, Stella Nzelu, in the attack, expressed gratitude to the government, saying the kind gesture has given them hope.
Other victims including Idoko Ofoma, who survived the incident with his wife and five children appreciated the government for reaching out to them.
Speaking at the ceremony, a member of the Donation Management Committee, Mr Dare Aragbaiye, explained that the committee will come back from time to time to disburse more money to the victims and particularly the deceased families as soon as more funds come into the purse which the state government has created for the purpose.
Aragbaiye said that the State government has disbursed several millions of naira to the families of the deceased and victims of the June 5 incident.
He noted that the cash donation would assist the beneficiaries to overcome the trauma, both physical and psychological.
He particularly appreciated Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, for his prompt response to assist the victims and for bringing succour to the families whose loved ones were killed in the incident and also to the injured, some of whom are still visiting the hospitals for treatments and follow-ups.
“In order not to delay this support meant for them, Mr Governor directed that a reasonable amount of money be given to each of them. Each of the families and each of the injured, and that is precisely what we have done.
“I believe that this will go a long way to bringing relief to the victims. The incident was unfortunate but to the glory of God, many still survived. And many of the relatives of those who died also need support.
“So, what the Governor has done will assist them to overcome the trauma, both physical and psychological. We were here on Tuesday and we have come here again on Thursday to conclude the first round of the exercise.”
“We believe that as more money comes into the purse which the state government has created for this purpose, we will also be coming back from time to time to disburse more money.”