Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari has hold Islamic State of West Africa Province, ISWAP terrorists responsible for the Sunday deadly attack at Saint Francis Catholic Church in Owo town of Ondo State that left several persons dead.
Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, stated this to State House Correspondents on Thursday after President Muhammadu Buhari held security council meeting with service chiefs and other top government functionaries at the State House in Abuja.
The Minister, who briefed alongside Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Baba Usman, said security agencies had been directed to go after the perpetrators of the act and bring them to justice.
Aregbesola said the motive of the terror group is believed to be pitching Nigerians against one another and make it appear as ethno-religious war.
According to the Minister, ISWAP imprints had been determined in the attack. Adding, arrests are yet to be made.
Aregbesola stressed that there was no ethnic agenda in the attack as alleged by many in the society, urging Nigerians to unite and defeat the terrorists.
“The National Security Council has just risen from its meeting today, which reviewed, very critically, all aspects of security situation in the country and came up with conclusions, commending the efforts of the military and other security agencies in mitigating the insurgency, particularly in the Northeast, where the fundamentalists there have been weakened, degraded and equally in the Northwest, where the bandits are equally weakened, and the North central, where we’re engaged with pockets of bandits…
“The council is quite concerned about the violent attack in Owo, Ondo State, and have been able to locate the perpetrators of that horrendous attack. From all indications, we are zeroing in on ISWAP, the Islamic State for West Africa.
“It is not an ethno-religious thing, the animals in ISWAP wanting attention, recognition, are suspected to have launched that attack. We have directed all the agencies concerned to go after them and bring them to justice,” he said.
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.
Also in attendance are the Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Baba Usman; the Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS), Yusuf Bichi; and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.