Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, has said those behind the Owo attacks have been arrested.
He made the statement during a meeting with editors and media executives in Abuja on Tuesday. Irabor said the suspects would be paraded after an investigation had been concluded into the matter.
The Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, on Tuesday disclosed five suspected terrorists who attacked St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo on June 5, 2022 have been arrested.
Akeredolu confirmed the arrest shortly after the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, announced the arrest of two of the masterminds of the attack in Abuja.
Akeredolu was speaking while receiving the chairman of the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Ondo State, Prince Leke Adegbite, and his executive members.
The governor also disclosed that the person who allegedly housed the suspected terrorists before carrying out that the attack had been arrested.
Some gunmen had stormed St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State, killing no fewer than 40 worshippers.
The Federal Government, however, said the Islamic States of West Africa Province terrorists were behind the attack.
Speaking further, The CDS said, “Within the last time we met, we have recorded remarkable achievement. Let me bring it to your notice that within the same period, there have been ignoble actions of men of the underworld that have impinged on our collective well-being, namely the unfortunate train attack, the attack on Kuje correctional center as well as what has been reported in the past the attack on the presidential convoy.
“Also, the Owo incident which was intended to bring man and women of the armed forces to present them in a form and shape that make it to look as if the nation is on a siege. We have arrested those behind the dastardly act in Owo.
“It was my intention to present them to the public, but because of the investigation still going on, I had to change my mind. I will like to say that in due course, the world will see them and others who are behind other daring attacks in the country.”
Ondo State Governmenor said that while five people has been arrested, that the Government is still on the trail of some of the others.
The governor also confirmed that some Ebira indigenes are now involved in the some act of kidnapping recently in the state.
“I want to use this medium to urge our brothers (Ebira) to concentrate on their farming trade. It will be unfortunate to know that the Ebiras in our midst are now involved in kidnapping.
“We are appealing to them not to copy bad thing. The traders selling by the road side should not become informants. We are not fighting them; we have seen their numbers, they supported and voted for us during elections. I will call their leaders and talk to them.
“Our brothers who were kidnapped on their way to Ikare; talk to them, they were taken to Ebira farmsteads.For me, we have lived together for too long for this to happen. I am ready to make any effort to ensure that the conviality that we have enjoyed continues.
“But we are begging their leaders to urge them not to copy bad thing. They are in our midst, we are surrounded by them. The issue of security is key and it’s dynamic,” he appealed.
“Earlier, the Chairman of the NUJ, Adegbite appreciated the governor for his support for the management of Ondo State Radio-vision Corporation and Owena Press PLC, adding that the upgrades of facilities in the two state-owned media outfits are commendable.
“He also thanked the governor for the approval of the weigh-in allowance for journalists and information officers working in the state and local government service.
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur