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Owo attack: Security agencies jumped into conclusion with ISWAP claim, says Akeredolu

Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo, says he still has reservations about the claim that the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) wa...



Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo, says he still has reservations about the claim that the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) was responsible for the Catholic church attack.

 

The governor, who spoke on Channels Television on Monday, said he doesn’t agree with the federal government and security agencies that ISWAP was solely responsible for the attack in Owo.

 

On June 5, gunmen attacked St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, in Ondo state and killed over 40 worshippers.

 

The gunmen were said to have detonated explosives in the church after which they proceeded to fire shots at the congregation.

 

A few days after the attack, Rauf Aregbesola, minister of interior, had said the attack was orchestrated by ISWAP.

 

However, Akeredolu said ISWAP would have claimed the attack if it was responsible for it.

 

“The security agents were to 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 triology that is operating in our forests and causing havoc,” he said.

 

 “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 responsibilty 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.”

 

Meanwhile, Kayode Fayemi, governor of Ekiti, had also said the federal government’s claim is “purely speculative”, and no substantial evidence links the group to the attack on the church.


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