Unknown gunmen on early Wednesday morning shot dead killed six persons in Sabo area of Ondo town in Ondo State, three days after several worshippers of St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo were massacred.
The gunmen suspected to be bandits on motorcycles reportedly attacked passersby and unsuspected residents of the area.
The victims, who mostly are Hausa, had been buried while the survivors were said to be receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital in the state.
A source, a resident of Ondo town, described the incident as armed robbery attack, saying the gunmen also robbed some residents of the area before they left the scene.
But the Sarkin Hausawa of Ondo, Alhaji Abdulsalam Yusuf, said reprisal attack because of the last Sunday Owo incident, where several worshippers were killed by gunmen suspected to be Fulani herders, could not be ruled out.
Narrating the incident, Yusuf, who spoke with newsmen, said the gunmen stormed the area on motorbikes around 12:30am and opened fire on innocent roadside petty traders.
His words: “They came to our area (Sabo) on motorbikes and each was carrying three gunmen. All of a sudden, they started shooting people who were mostly suya and tea vendors.
“A J5 bus driver who was on transit and stopped to eat was the first victim. They killed a security guard and another shopkeeper who was trying to lock up his shop and run away from the assailants.
“They again gunned down two young men who were eating noodles at a mai shai stall. That makes five victims in Sabo alone. Again, they struck another area called Iba where they also shot dead another man.
“We have informed the Sabo divisional police officer and he led a police patrol team to assess the situation and evacuate the corpses to the mortuary.
“We can not rule out that the attack might be a reprisal attack of what happened in Owo on Sunday because we have been living in this area for more than 60 years peacefully without any problem.”
Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the Ondo State Police Command, Mrs. Funmilayo Odunlami, who confirmed the incident, said the incident was a case of robbery.
She assured that the police would apprehend perpetrators and bring them to justice.