Gunmen opened fire on a church procession that left 50 Catholic worshippers, including women and children, dead during a "satanic" massacre.

The congregation was gunned down in a "vile and satanic attack" both outside and inside of St Francix Xavue Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo state, Nigeria.

At least 50 bodies were sent off to two local hospitals, and Governor Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu visited both the church and hospital where he called the attack "vile and satanic".

Governor Akeredolu also stated that the "great massacre" should not be allowed to happen again after gunmen left 50 worshippers dead in the brutal shooting.

Governer Akeredolu added: "The vile and satanic attack is a calculated assault on the peace-loving people of Owo Kingdom who have enjoyed relative peace over the years."

He also stated the attack was "the most dastardly act that could happen in any society" and labelled the attack a "black Sunday in Owo".

Akeredolu has urged residents to remain calm, pleading with locals to not "take laws into your own hands," and promising that the attackers would "pay for their crimes".

The identity and motives of the gunmen are yet to be identified, but President Muhammadu Buhari has called the attack "heinous" in a statement he delivered.

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President Buhari said: "No matter what, this country shall never give in to evil and wicked people and darkness will never overcome light."

In a statement delivered by Reverend Augustine Ikwu, the secretary of the Catholid Church in Ondo said: "We turn to God to console the families of those whose lives were lost.

"It is so sad that while the Holy Mass was going on, unknown gunmen attacked St Francis Catholic Church…leaving many feared dead and many others injured and the Church violated."

Medics were reported by The Mirror as saying there was an increased and pressing need for blood donations to treat the injured, while Adeyemi Olayemi, a lawmaker in Ondo, believes the shooting was carried out by Fulani terrorists, The Sun reported.

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