Fidelis David in Akure
The Ondo State Government yesterday commenced the construction of a befitting Memorial Park in honour of the victims of the terrorist attack on St Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Owo, leading to the gruesome murder of 41 persons.
The state government disclosed that the memorial park would be completed by May 2023 to mark the first anniversary of the Owo carnage,
The Governor of Ondo State, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) revealed this yesterday during an inspection visit to the site of the Memorial Park, located in the heart of Owo, a sprawling ancient city of Ondo State.
At the construction site, Akeredolu disclosed that the state government “is determined not to forget the souls, who were gruesomely murdered while worshipping.
He also disclosed that the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who visited Owo to commiserate with the state and the people after the incident, would be invited to inaugurate the project when completed.
He said: “Let me thank the Odopetu of Akure Kingdom, Architect Femi Bello who designed the project. I want to thank him very much, because he showed interest in this project. His interest is beyond the normal.
“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. By the time we tell him we have this Memorial Park for him to come and commission 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. Others are still nursing the wounds of the attack. While some have gone back to their homes, others, who sustained varying degrees of injury, have been discharged. Some of them are outpatients.
“As you know, we also have a lady whose two legs were amputated. The state government has provided for her necessary prosthesis that she can use. I am told that she has been able to use it.”
Akeredolu noted that the rehabilitation of the amputee “is moving on well. We are sure that she will still live a normal life. That is what I believe she will live a normal life. For us, it is just a way of remembering those 41 souls that died.”
Also at the site, the Commissioner for Infrastructure, Land and Housing, Mr. Raimi Aminu commended Akeredolu for not forgetting the departed souls.
He said the state government “has decided to site 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.”
Aminu further revealed that the state government “has intention of siting so many things like museums and other things around this area.
“This is going to be a centre of attraction after completion. it will beautify the city, and at the same time, those people that lost their lives will be remembered for life.
“Anybody that passes here will know that something happens on June 5, 2022. All things being equal, by God’s grace, this project will be completed before the end of May 2023.”