Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has countered declarations made by the federal government pinning the Ondo Church attack on Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).
The governor who also chairs the SGF, termed the move by the federal government as ‘too hasty’. Recall that the FG had announced last week—through the National Security Council—that ISWAP was responsible for the attack on St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church on June 5. However, the announcement was preceded by a denial by the state governor and the Olowo of Owo, Oba Ajibade Ogunoye, of any arrests made on the perpetrators.
During a zoom meeting with Christian Solidarity International (CSI), a Christian human rights organisation based in Switzerland, Governor Akeredolu opposed the FG’s announcement, opining that ISWAP was known to take responsibility for their own killings, which hasn’t happened in this instance.
‘The statement is too hasty. I take their conclusion with a pinch of salt. ISWAP don’t hide their attackS. If they have done it, they would have owned up. We are yet to know and our security people are still on their trail.
‘We have a plan to help the victims of the attack. Including those who lost their lives and those who are in the hospitals. Deliberately, we have people who have offered the state government some assistance. Some people have donated to the Catholic,’ he explained.
Speaking about the strength of the current security at state level, the SGF chairman called for support to the Police Force, before lauding the goodwill reactions from the international community.
‘A single police command cannot guarantee safety in this country. We must have state police now. Amotekun suffers a lot of limitations in getting all the equipment we need to fight these criminals,’ Gov. Akeredolu stated.
The attack on St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church on Pentecost Sunday, have been described by many as premeditated, and adds to a number of religiously-inclined violence and killings in recent times.
The incident which left scores dead and several others injured, had taken the people of Owo in Ondo town by surprise; sparking rage on an international scale. An announcement by the NSC four days later stated that ISWAP was responsible for the killings.
The falsely reported arrest of the killers in Ondo town then led to the gathering of youths at the palace of the traditional ruler; who called for the dishing-out of jungle justice on the occasion.