The Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, has picked holes with the declaration of Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) as being responsible for the terrorist attack at a Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State, by the Federal Government, describing their conclusion as being too hasty.
This is coming as the state police command, the governor and the Olowo of Owo, Oba Ajibade Ogunoye, all denied the alleged arrest of the killers.
This was made known by Governor Akeredolu on Friday during a zoom interaction with a Swiss-based Christian human rights Organization, Christian Solidarity International (CSI), a day after the Federal Government made the pronouncement.
Akeredolu who said he took the conclusion with a pinch of salt, added that ISWAP is known to take responsibility for its attacks and always owned up to any attack perpetrated by its members.
What the Ondo State Governor is saying
Akeredolu said, ”The statement is too hasty. I take their conclusion with a pinch of salt. ISWAP don’t hide their attacks. If they have done it, they would have owned up. We are yet to know and our security people are still on their trail.”
He said the attack was a crime against humanity, noting that the Southwest region has been a peace haven before the horrific attack, saying that despite the attack on the psyche of the people, the people of the state are indomitable and ready to fight insecurity.
The governor said, “We have a plan to help the victims of the attack. Including those who lost their lives and those who are in the hospitals. Deliberately, we have people who have offered the state government some assistance. Some people have donated to the Catholic.”
Governor insists on state police
Governor Akeredolu also reiterated his stand on state police, noting that the time for state police is now as well as emphasizing that the present security architecture in the country cannot provide security for lives and property.
He said, “A single police command cannot guarantee safety in this country. We must have state police now. Amotekun suffers a lot of limitations in getting all the equipment we need to fight these criminals.”
The governor commended the international community for their reaction on the killing in Owo, saying their reaction was unprecedented.
Speaking with Vanguard, the Special Assistant Media, to Olowo of Owo, Samuel Adewale, said there was no arrest and the palace wondered about the source of the information leading to the invasion of the palace by the angry youths.
What you should know
- Recall that on Sunday, June 5, some unidentified gunmen launched an attack on a Catholic church in Ondo state in Nigeria during mass on Sunday, killing scores of people with many people sustaining serious injuries.
- The attackers targeted the St Francis Xavier Catholic Church in the town of Owo as the worshippers gathered on Pentecost Sunday, gunning down parishioners and detonated an explosive device.
- On June 9, the Federal Government through the National Security Council blamed ISWAP as being responsible for the attack on St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State, on Sunday, June 5.
- Meanwhile, the palace of the traditional ruler of Owo town was under siege by youths in their hundreds from the ancient town demanding for the perpetrators of the attack following alleged reports that the suspected terrorists have been arrested by the combined team of Nigerian Army, Amotekun Corps and other security forces and taken to the palace.
- They demanded that the suspected terrorists should be handed to them and pleaded to the traditional ruler not to transfer them to Akure, the state capital
- It took several hours for the monarch to convince the youth that the information was untrue.