‘Our Target Was President Buhari’, ISWAP Terrorists Claim Responsibility For Kogi Car Bomb Explosion

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The Islamic State-backed faction of Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), formerly known as Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihād, has claimed responsibility for a car bomb explosion that killed about four people and injured several others in the Okene Local Government Area of Kogi State.

The attack was the seventh to be claimed by the group in the state in the last eight months.

The explosion rocked a community in the local government area last Thursday.

The explosion, which occurred around 9.00 am was said to have occurred near the palace of Ado Ibrahim, the paramount ruler of Ebiraland.

The incident occurred about an hour before the arrival of President Muhammadu Buhari, who was scheduled to visit the North-Central state to inaugurate some projects.

However, ISWAP in a statement on Monday said the attack was carried out by “soldiers of the caliphate.”

The terror group said a car bomb was used and its target was the President who was visiting the area.

On April 23, gunmen attacked a police station in the same Adavi LGA in the state, which resulted in the death of three police officers.

Some days later, ISWAP claimed responsibility for the attack.

On May 11, there was an explosion at a bar in Lewu Junction area of Kabba town, Kogi.

The explosion claimed three lives but 16 persons were affected.

Two weeks later, an explosion occurred at another bar in the town, in Kabbah-Bunu LGA.

The group claimed responsibility for both explosions.

Kabba is the headquarters of the Kabba/Bunnu LGA and the people speak a dialect of Yoruba called Owe.

The town is less than 10 minutes from Akunnu-Akoko and Ajowa-Akoko in Ondo State and less than 20 minutes from Omuo in Ekiti State.

ISWAP in June 2022 also claimed responsibility for the explosion that led to the death of two persons during an annual festival in the Idoji area of Okene in Kogi.

The group also said it attacked two Nigerian government vehicles in the Adavi Local Government Area of Kogi State a few days later.

On October 18, the group said its fighters invaded a Celestial Church, Blood of Jesus Parish in Lokoja, the capital of Kogi State, killing two persons and injuring several others.

The church is located behind the NNPC Mega petrol station in the Felele axis along Abuja-Lokoja-Okene Highway in Lokoja, the state capital.

The two dead congregants were reportedly evacuated from the church and deposited at the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja while the injured persons were rushed to the same hospital for treatment.

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