Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has criticised the Federal Government’s identification of ISWAP as the terrorists responsible for the attack on worshippers at St Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State, as hasty.
The state police command, the governor, and the Olowo of Owo, Oba Ajibade Ogunoye, have all denied the alleged arrest of the killers.
Remember that the palace of the traditional ruler was besieged by youth from the ancient town demanding the perpetrators of the last Sunday attack on the town’s St. Francis Catholic church.
Hundreds of young people flocked to the Palace after hearing that suspected terrorists had been apprehended and taken to the palace by a joint team of the Nigerian Army, Amotekun Corps, and other security forces.
They demanded that the suspected terrorists be handed over to them and pleaded with the traditional ruler not to send them to Akure, the state capital.
It took the monarch several hours to persuade the youth that the information was false.
Meanwhile, Governor Akeredolu stated that he takes the Federal Government’s conclusion with a grain of salt, noting that ISWAP is known to accept responsibility for their attacks.
He said this during a video chat with Christian Solidarity International, a Swiss-based Christian human rights organisation (CSI).
“The statement is rash. I’m going to take their conclusion with a grain of salt. ISWAP does not conceal their attacks. If they had done it, they would have admitted it. We don’t know yet, and our security personnel are still looking for them.”
Before the horrific attack, the Southwest region was a peace haven, according to Akeredolu, who called it a crime against humanity.
Despite the psychological assault, the governor stated that the people of the state are resilient and ready to fight insecurity.
According to him, the government is “determined to assist the victims of the attack, particularly those who lost loved ones and those admitted to the hospital.”
“We have a plan in place to assist the victims of the attack.” Including those who have died and those who are in hospitals. We have people who have offered to help the state government on purpose. Some people have contributed to the Catholic cause.”
Akeredolu also reiterated his support for state police, stating that the time for them is now.
He agreed that the country’s current security architecture cannot protect people and property.
“In this country, a single police command cannot guarantee safety.” We need state police now. Amotekun faces numerous challenges in obtaining all of the equipment required to combat these criminals.
The governor praised the international community’s response to the killing in Owo, saying it was unprecedented.
The Special Assistant Media to Olowo of Owo, Samuel Adewale, stated that no arrests were made, and the palace questioned the source of the information that led to the angry youths’ invasion of the palace.
“The rumour was not true, there was no arrest, and we don’t know where the information came from,” Adewale said. We have assured the youths that security agents are still on the lookout for the perpetrators.”
Richard Olatunde, the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, also denied the suspects’ arrest.
Funmi Odunlami, the State Police Command image maker, also stated that no arrests were made in connection with the last Sunday attack on the Church in Owo.
Odunlami stated that members of the public would be notified if any arrests were made by security agencies in connection with the Owo attack.