Nine months after terrorists attacked a Catholic church in Owo, Ondo State, the governor of the state, Rotimi Akeredolu, has begun construction of a memorial park in honour of the victims of the attack.
About 41 people lost their lives while many sustained various degrees of injuries in the deadly attack at St Francis Catholic Church. However, no arrest has been made after the incident.
Speaking during an inspection visit to the construction site on Saturday, the governor said the memorial park would be a beauty to behold when completed.
He said his administration was determined not to forget the souls that have departed as a result of the incident, noting that the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, who had visited Owo to commiserate with the state and the people after the incident, would be invited to inaugurate the project when completed.
Akeredolu said, “The architect who designed this place, Architect Femi Bello, the Odopetu of Akure Kingdom, I want to thank him very well because he showed interest in this project. His interest is beyond normal, so I thank you.
“By the time we finish this memorial park, it will be a beauty to behold and it is going to measure up to any memorial park anywhere because the architect has taken his time to do so much good work here. It is for us to just wait and see it.
“Come rain, come sunshine, this project must be completed before the end of May. When this incident (attack) happened, our president-elect was here. I know that by the time we tell him we have this memorial park for him to come and inaugurate it, I think it will be a joy to him. That will be just a week after his inauguration, I pray he will come so that he can see this memorial park.
“For us, we are determined not to forget the souls that have departed. They were 41 in number. And others that are still nursing the wounds, although they have gone back to their homes, they have been discharged, some of them are outpatients.
“As you know, we also have a lady whose two legs were amputated. The government has provided for her necessary prosthesis that she can use. I’m told that she has been able to use it. Her rehabilitation is moving on well, and we are sure that she will still live a normal life. That is what I believe, she will live a normal life. So, for us, it is just a way of remembering those 41 souls that died.”
In his remarks, the state commissioner for Infrastructure, Land and Housing, Raimi Aminu commended Akeredolu for not forgetting the departed souls, expressing assurance that the befitting memorial park will be completed before the end of May this year.
“Government has decided to sit at this location befitting Memorial Park in remembrance of those departed souls. It is going to be a befitting one, well drawn, and which can compete with others throughout the world,” he said.
Aminu added that apart from that, the government also has the intention of citing so many things like museums and other things around this area. So, this is going to be a centre of attraction after completion, and it will beautify the city, and at the same time, those people who lost their lives will be remembered for life.
“All things being equal, by God’s grace, this project will be completed before the end of May 2023,” Aminu assured