The claim by the Federal Government that the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) was responsible for attack on St Francis Catholic church attack in Owo has again been refuted by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State.
According to Akeredolu, the security agencies do not have any evidence to back their claim that ISWAP was behind the gruesome attack.
The governor in an interview on Channels TV on Monday night argued that the terrorist group would have claimed the attack if it was responsible for it.
You would recall that unidentified gunmen on Sunday, June 5, invaded the Catholic church and killed at least 40 worshippers and injured many others.
A few days after the attack, the federal government through the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, had said the attack was orchestrated by ISWAP.
But Akeredolu rejected the claim and asked the government to conduct a thorough investigation before giving any statement.
Speaking on the attack on Monday, Akeredolu said the security agencies were quick to conclude that ISWAP was behind the attack.
The Governor claimed that the attack was carried out by Fulani herdsmen, bandits and ISWAP.
He said: “The security agents were too quick to jump to that conclusion that it was done by ISWAP. But whatever it is, we stand by the position that it is a trilogy that is operating in our forests and causing havoc.
“You have Fulani herdsmen ride in front, followed by bandits, and again ISWAP. So, the three of them work together and work separately.
“In Ondo State, we have faced terrorism from the three — whether it’s bandits, Fulani herdsmen or ISWAP — they work together. I don’t know how you want to separate them except you have concrete evidence.
“Our own contention is that ISWAP, most times, takes responsibility for their actions. They take pride in these heinous crimes. So, if ISWAP had done this, they would have come out to own up.
“But some of us have our fears that it isn’t ISWAP and we do not agree with that position. The security agents were too quick to jump at ISWAP.
“We know it’s a trilogy that is running circles round us here on security matters. We just have to work at all of them together.”
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