Owo: Worsening violent attacks threaten 2023 poll
Owo Church massacre scene

The federal government of Nigeria, on Thursday, disclosed that the Islamic State, West African Province (ISWAP) was responsible for the horrendous attack on St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, in Ondo state, which led to the death of about 40 persons on Sunday.

Briefing State House correspondents at the end of Security Council meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, flanked by the Inspector General of Police Alkali Baba Usman, said that the Owo Catholic Church attack was perpetrated by international criminals.

Aregbesola, said that no arrest has been made, noting that the security agencies had been directed to go after the perpetrators of the act and bring them to justice, adding that the security was now zeroing in on them.

According to him, the attack has no ethnic-religious connection as he affirmed that the group activity has nothing to do with real religion.

The minister emphasized that the motive of the terror group is believed to be pitching Nigerians against each another and make it appear as ethno-religious war.

The minister stated that the council is also concerned about killings in the name of blasphemy and has directed the security agencies to go after perpetrators of both incidents that occurred in Sokoto State and Abuja recently.

He added that enough security arrangement has been made for the Ekiti State gubernatorial election taking place on June 18, 2022.

The Government also said that no arrest has been made on the kidnap of the Methodist Prelate, Samuel Kanu-Uche and two other priests.

He, however, said there has been a lead and that the security was still looking for the suspects and how the ransom was paid.

He said there was no ethnic agenda in the attack, urging Nigerians to unite and defeat the terrorists.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Police said it was deploying 17, 374 officers and men for the governorship election in Ekiti.

 

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