Daily Courier – The National Security Council, on Thursday, has identified the Islamic State, West African Province as the mastermind of the deadly attack on St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State that left over 40 people dead on Sunday, June 5, 2022.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, disclosed this to State House correspondents, shortly after the over three-hour council meeting presided over by the President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Council Chambers of the State House, Abuja.
Aregbesola, who spoke in the company of the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, said security agencies are closing in on the perpetrators through their traces.
According to him, the council is gravely concerned about spate of blasphemy-linked killings and has directed security agents to hunt those behind the killing of Deborah Samuel Sokoto State and a more recent case in Abuja.
He, however, noted that the police have arrested no one for the attack since Sunday.
The minister also debunked notions that the attack carried an ethnic-religious tint adding that the group was out to pitch Nigerians against one another and make it appear as ethno-religious war.
He said there was no ethnic agenda in the attack, urging Nigerians to unite and defeat the terrorists.
Aregbesola said the council has made adequate security preparations for the June 18 governorship election in Ekiti State.
Those who attended the security 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 the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd.).
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 were also in attendance.
Also in attendance were the 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.