FG points to ISWAP in Owo terror attack
Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola on Thursday fingered the deadly Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) militants for the attacks on St Francis Catholic Church, Owo in Ondo State.
Aregbesola who briefed State House journalists alongside the Inspector General of Police, Alkali Baba, after the security meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, disclosed that the government “ has seen the footprints of ISWAP in the attack, adding that “ government is on their trails”.
Recall that some unknown gunmen had on Sunday raided the St. Francis Catholic Church at Owo, near Akure, the Ondo state capital killing over 50 worshippers in the early hours of the morning.
The Minister, however declared that the security agencies were yet to arrest any of the perpetrators
“We need to let our people know this, because we know that what happened at Owo had neither ethnic nor religious motives”.
The Minister noted that the Owo attacks were “consistent with ISWAP style in the north East, north west and north central with where we have pockets of bandits operating there”.
“We are very close to getting the perpetrators, there are ethnic agenda,” the minister said.
The Minister also called on various communities across the country to be vigilant adding that “ we must mobilize ourselves to defeat their efforts to stoke ethnic violence and cause anarchy in the country”.
“The Council understand the violent attacks in the Owo Church were perpetrated by the ISWAP and we are zeroing in on these people who are bent on using such attacks to bring attention and recognition to themselves.
“We have asked all the security agencies to go after them, identify and apprehend the attackers.
The Inspector General of Police, Alkali Baba, disclosed that security has been beefed up in Ekiti and Osun states, where there are going to be elections very soon with the deployment of 17,374 policemen, aside the Military.
He disclosed the over 584 suspected criminals were arrested in connection with high profile cases, this year.
Also speaking on the kidnaped Abuja to Kaduna train victims, the IGP, stated that government was working on their release, adding that “ We are still trying to get them released. There are positive indications that these people will be released.
He announced that the Police was strengthening engagements and collaborations with the various communities as part of Community Policing program, adding that “ by next months we are graduating about 10,000 new set of Police personnel, which will be added to the current number to strengthen our operational capabilities”.