The National Security Council have revealed that the shootings at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State, was carried out by the Islamic State, West Africa Province (ISWAP).
Speaking after a three-hour council meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chambers of the State House, Abuja, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, informed State House correspondents that the perpetrators are being traced by security agencies, assuring that they will be brought to book shortly.
Aregbesola, who was joined by Usman Baba, the Inspector General of Police, expressed the general concern of council members on the increased rate of killings tied to religious differences. He also urged security agents to fish out the killers of Deborah Samuel in Sokoto State, and those responsible for a similar killing at Abuja.
Although no arrest has been made following Sunday’s killings, the incident have sparked outrage on a national scale, and supposedly led to the killing of six northerners in Ondo town on Wednesday. Aregbesola played down the angle of an ethnic-religious cause to the incident as many critics have opined lately. He then assured the public that the council has made sufficient plans to secure the upcoming governorship elections in Ekiti State; which is slated to hold on June 18.
Present at the National Security Council meeting were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari and National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd.).
Security Chiefs were also in attendance namely; the Chief of Defense Staff, General Lucky Irabor; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Farouk Yahaya; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo; and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Amao.
Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Usman; the Director-General of the Department of State Service, Yusuf Bichi; and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Abubakar, were also part of the three-hour meeting in Abuja on Thursday.
The death toll of the Owo massacre currently stands at 25, though conflicting reports have put out a higher figure. Several others have been hospitalized.