Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has confirmed the apprehension of five suspects tied to the deadly attack on St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State.

The arrest which comes sixty-five days after suspected terrorists orchestrated a bloody Pentecost Sunday in Owo, was first announced by Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, on Tuesday.

According to Gen. Irabor, two of the masterminds were arrested in Abuja. Governor Akeredolu further confirmed that an accomplice who allegedly housed the perpetrators before the killings that day has been arrested too by the Nigerian Army. This he said while receiving Prince Leke Adegbite, the chairman of the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Ondo State.

‘Now that the military has announced it, I can tell you that five of them have been arrested now. They are still on the trail of the rest. The home where they lodged in Owo and the person who lodged them before the attack, have also been arrested.

‘We did not spare a moment. I am happy that the Chief of Defence Staff has announced it.

‘We have known for a while but we needed not to come out with it because more works are still ongoing. I can confirm that this arrest has been made. And they are still on the trail of some of them,’ he said.

The Ondo State governor also pleaded with the Ebira people in the state to desist from kidnapping activities, and focus on their legitimate sources of livelihood.

‘I want to use this medium to urge our brothers (Ebira) to concentrate on their farming trade. It will be unfortunate to know that the Ebiras in our midst are now involved in kidnapping.

‘We are appealing to them not to copy bad thing. The traders selling by the road side should not become informants. We are not fighting them; we have seen their numbers, they supported and voted for us during elections. I will call their leaders and talk to them.

‘Our brothers who were kidnapped on their way to Ikare; talk to them, they were taken to Ebira farmsteads.For me, we have lived together for too long for this to happen. I am ready to make any effort to ensure that the conviality that we have enjoyed continues.

‘But we are begging their leaders to urge them not to copy bad thing. They are in our midst, we are surrounded by them. The issue of security is key and it’s dynamic, he pleaded.

The Owo massacre on June 5, 2022, left dozens of worshippers dead in its wake, while others were injured and traumatized in days that followed. Netizens and Nigerians at large can now find some sort of recompense in the arrest of five suspected terrorists linked to the incident; while hoping more arrests will be made.

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