The Presidency has described the most recent church attacks in Owo, Ondo State, and the southern part of Kaduna State as “planned and politically motivated criminal outrages,” noting that it would not be distracted by such intrigues.
In a statement released on Wednesday and signed by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, the Presidency claimed that the attacks were planned to incite conflict among the nation’s various regions.
The statement titled ‘Recent spate of church attacks unacceptable’ read:
From the tragedy in Owo two weeks ago that shook our nation to its core, to the killings and kidnappings just this weekend in Kaduna State, it is clear that there is a design by wicked people to put the country under religious stress.
President Muhammadu Buhari believes that our religious freedom, our diversity, is what makes Nigeria great. It is this diversity that gives Nigeria its strength. That is why Nigeria’s enemies seek to destroy it, by putting us against one another.
We will not let them. The nation will not be distracted or divided by these obviously planned and politically motivated criminal outrages. The perpetrators are cowards; weak and wicked men with guns murdering, in cold blood, unarmed women and children at their places of worship.
As for the cowards, they will be punished for their crimes. We will bring them to justice. Rest assured that the full might of Nigeria’s formidable security and intelligence forces are involved in that endeavour.
The statement by the Presidency is coming days after the
The Federal Government, yesterday, identified the Islamic State, West African Province (ISWAP) as being responsible for the attack at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Owo.
Briefing newsmen at the end of a National Security Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja, Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said security agencies were already on the trail of the culprits.
While noting that their imprints have been ascertained in the attack, he, however, said the authorities have so far made no arrests.