The National security Council has blamed the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) is responsible for the attack on St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, that led to the death of about 38 persons on June 5.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said this on Thursday, June 9, 2022; while briefing State House Correspondents after the National Security Council meeting in Abuja.
He disclosed that security agencies, particularly the police, have been directed to apprehend the ISWAP perpetrators.
The former governor said the attack has no ethnic-religious connection; affirming that the group’s activity has nothing to do with religion.
Aregbesola said, “Council is quite concerned about the violent attack in Ondo state…We have been able to locate the perpetrators. We have zeroed it that ISWAP did it. The animals in ISWAP wanting attention are responsible. We have asked security personnel to go after them and bring them to justice”.
Similarly, the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba equally noted the imprints of the perpetrators of the Owo killings have been identified and although no arrests have been made, security agencies are now zeroing in on them.
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Equally important, the meeting, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, was held less than a week after scores of persons were killed in the attack and several others wounded.
Also, in a recent meeting, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State said 40 persons died in the incident while 26 survivors have been discharged from hospitals in the area.
“The figure I have now shows that 127 persons were involved and that the number of death now is 40. On admission receiving treatment, we have 61. Twenty-six have been discharged,” he said on Wednesday when he hosted Catholic Bishops from the South-West led by Most Reverend Leke Abegunrin.
“Those are the figures we have now from the Commissioner for Health. So, the government is not hiding anything.”
Meanwhile, the security council meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari, had the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation; Boss Mustapha; the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (retd) in attendance.
Other attendees include the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Farouk Yahaya; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo; and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao.