ACTING leader of pan-Yoruba sociopolitical group, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, on Saturday faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s government’s claim that ISWAP was responsible for attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State, calling on the government to stop living in denial.
Chief Adebanjo said this in his reaction, while speaking with the Sunday Tribune on telephone, maintaining that those carrying out attacks across the length and breadth of the country were known to the government, as according to him, they were being backed by some powerful people within the Buhari government.
The elder statesman, who said government that negotiated with terrorists should be ashamed of itself, recalled the interview granted by former naval officer, Commodore Kunle Olawunmi, in which he said powerful people in Buhari’s cabinet, including governors and senators, were those backing terrorists, but the president had failed to act on the report.
“I said it categorically in Owo that Buhari’s government is behind them; I said so and gave the evidence. That Commodore Olawunmi revealed that powerful people within the Buhari government were behind those perpetrating the various attacks in the country,” he said.
According to Chief Adebanjo, Olawunmi made the claim since 2017 and said “the report is with Buhari, and the government could not act on it because those involved are powerful people in government, including seating governors and senators.
“If you are saying ISWAP was behind the Owo Catholic Church attack, is that why you cannot arrest them? The government should be ashamed of itself, the government that is negotiating with terrorists.
“So they must stop living in this denial. The problem of this Boko Haram will not be solved until Buhari gets out of the stage. That’s what we must tell him. The government should no longer live in denial and I ask them to come and arrest me,” the elder statesman charged.
Adebanjo accused the Buhari- led administration of resolve to Islamise the country, saying it was the reason it did not want to arrest those carrying out attacks on innocent people across the nation, querying: “And all those attacks that had been happening, what action have they taken?”
The elder statesman recalled the heinous attack unleashed on Christians in Southern Kaduna in 2017, which necessitated the visit of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, saying that notwithstanding, another attack was unleashed on same people the following day, leading to more deaths, fatal injuries and destruction of properties, adding: “Have those people been settled?
“They (terrorists) went to Agatu, what came out of it? Also, they carried out their attacks in Makurdi. Remember, Governor [Samuel] Ortom went to Buhari and told him that people who came to carry out the attack, he knows them. That they wrote him a letter before they came, but Buhari said he should go and make peace with his neighbour. It is on record, remember,” he said.
“And I told the governor in Owo, at that church, let the people go and defend themselves, because you will continue to die if you expect Buhari’s government to protect you. And even in his own state, Katsina, the governor told the people they should arm themselves. What has happened?”
Meanwhile, Conference of Speakers in the South-West, on Saturday, condemned the gruesome attack on the St.Francis Catholic Church in Owo, that left more than 40 people dead.
The chairman of the Conference, who is also the Speaker, Ondo State House of Assembly, Rt Honourable Oleyelogun David, described the attack on the innocent people who were performing religious obligation as wicked.
Oleyelogun observed that Owo town, which had been known for peace has now been demonised as a town of terror. He noted that members of the Conference did well in endorsing the regional security network code-named Amotekun, which he said has “performed excellently in securing the South-west region.”