The National Security Council has blamed the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) for the June 5 attack on St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, which killed 38 people.
Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior, stated this on Thursday after briefing State House Correspondents following the National Security Council meeting in Abuja.
He revealed that security forces, particularly the police, have been ordered to apprehend the perpetrators. The former governor stated that there is no ethnic-religious link to the attack and that the group’s activity has nothing to do with religion.
According to him, the council is also concerned about blasphemy-related killings and has directed security agencies to pursue perpetrators of recent incidents in Sokoto State and Abuja recently.
Similarly, the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba equally noted the imprints of the perpetrators of the Owo killings have been identified and although no arrests have been made, security agencies are now zeroing in on them.
The meeting, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, was held less than a week after scores of persons were killed in the attack and several others wounded.
In a recent meeting, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State said 40 persons died in the incident while 26 survivors have been discharged from hospitals in the area.
“The figure I have now shows that 127 persons were involved and that the number of death now is 40. On admission receiving treatment, we have 61. Twenty-six have been discharged,” he said on Wednesday when he hosted Catholic Bishops from the South-West led by Most Reverend Leke Abegunrin.
“Those are the figures we have now from the Commissioner for Health. So, the government is not hiding anything.”